The Sick Headache

Brandon came across the phrase “sick headache” in one of my posts the other day. He swears he’s never heard me say it before (though I’m sure he has). It’s something I’ve suffered from all of my life… and a term I grew up on. 

My mamaw used to say it all the time. She’d say, “Shoo, I’ve got the sick headache. I think I better go lay down.” My daddy said it too. I guess it’s an expression I picked up from one of them.

So what does it mean? First used around 1778, the phrase describes a headache accompanied by nausea. In other words, a migraine.

I’ve never heard it outside of Appalachia. I’m not sure if people from other areas of North Carolina still use this old-timey expression or not. Have you ever heard it before?

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