“sic” a dog

Where did this come from?

By Deane Barker

Most people understand that to “sic a dog” on someone general means to direct the dog to attack.

This came from an accented form of the word “seek.” When hunting with dogs, you might say “seek them,” to mean “pursue them.” In Southern English, the word “seek” might sound a lot like “sick,” and that’s where we ended up with “sic ‘em.”

Why I Looked It Up

I was terrified of dogs as a child. The phrase “I’m going to sic my dog on you” was something I deeply feared. I got to wondering where it came from.

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