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Hiccups

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suze
577888.  Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:00 pm Reply with quote

Hiccup is cited first - in 1580 as against 1628 for hiccough. There are a few institutions which prefer the latter - notably The Times - but they are definitely in the minority.

As for why the second spelling exists, well it seems to have been a seventeenth century misapprehension that it is somehow etymologically connected to "cough". It isn't; it's onomatopeic. The OED once asserted that "hiccough ought to be abandoned as a mere error", but it has not completely been.

Please don't anyone say that they pronounce it "hick-off" ... My former boss tells an anecdote about this, which he related to me last time this topic came up here.

"While you were still at school in Canada, the BBC's main sports presenter on television was a man named Frank Bough [bɒf]. On one occasion he was afflicted with hiccups while presenting a live programme, and apologised for his 'hick-offs'. This led my family to refer to him as 'Frank Bup' for a time."

 
CB27
577893.  Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:12 pm Reply with quote

Some interesting info here:

http://www.qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14312&start=0

 
bemahan
660757.  Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:12 pm Reply with quote

Bemahub claims this as a cure for hiccups:

Put your thumbs in your ears
Block your nostrils with your fingers
Take a deep breath and hold it until your hiccups are cured*.

He claims it works every time as it "balances up the pressure in his tubes."**

*or you die***
** snort***
***Facetious wifey comments


Any evidence that this method has a scientific basis?

 
pinklady
660780.  Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:53 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Bemahub claims this as a cure for hiccups:

Put your thumbs in your ears
Block your nostrils with your fingers
Take a deep breath and hold it until your hiccups are cured*.

He claims it works every time as it "balances up the pressure in his tubes."**

*or you die***
** snort***
***Facetious wifey comments

Any evidence that this method has a scientific basis?


As a hiccup-prone person all my life, I have found that breath-holding methods are most effective, and my (far from scientific but logical) explanation is that when you breathe in to hold your breath, you push your diaphragm out and keep it there for the duration of the breath - which seems to break the cycle of jerky spasms of the diaphragm which caused you to hiccup. I try to take a really big breath in before holding and consciously push down into my diaphragm - it usually works first try.


Now, let's hear from a scientist rather than an architectural historian as to why it really works!

 
Spud McLaren
660787.  Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:06 pm Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
The two spelling thing always confuses me, and hiccough doesn't seem to make any more sense than an eggcough or the FA Cough.
I like the word "eggcough"; especially as I almost always get a bout of hiccups after eating an egg sandwich (not egg mayo, though).

 
zomgmouse
763062.  Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:08 am Reply with quote

FWIW, when I was seven or eight or so my dad once "cured" me of hiccups (I have been converted to this spelling, thank you) by simply distracting me for long enough for me/my body to forget about it. We were sitting on the sofa of the living room, and he alleged that there was an ant in the corner of the ceiling, and I spent some time trying to find it. When I asked him if there ever was an ant, he said no, but at least now my hiccups were gone.

 
djgordy
763111.  Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:31 am Reply with quote

I prefer "hiccough" and, considering that it has been around since the early 18th century, it seems a bit churlish to say that it is the wrong spelling.

 
zomgmouse
763297.  Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:47 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
I prefer "hiccough" and, considering that it has been around since the early 18th century, it seems a bit churlish to say that it is the wrong spelling.

suze wrote:
Hiccup is cited first - in 1580 as against 1628 for hiccough.

 
Klaxon
1106285.  Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:30 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Hiccup is cited first - in 1580 as against 1628 for hiccough. There are a few institutions which prefer the latter - notably The Times - but they are definitely in the minority.

As for why the second spelling exists, well it seems to have been a seventeenth century misapprehension that it is somehow etymologically connected to "cough". It isn't; it's onomatopeic. The OED once asserted that "hiccough ought to be abandoned as a mere error", but it has not completely been.


The English language has a bit of a history of mis-etymology, sadly. Case in point, the word 'island.'

 
WordLover
1108910.  Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:02 am Reply with quote

Klaxon wrote:
The English language has a bit of a history of mis-etymology, sadly. Case in point, the word 'island.'
And
delight (not from light), foetus (not from L foetor), ptarmigan (not from ptarmic), receipt (came from OFr receite, not directly from L recepta), redoubt (not from doubt), titmouse (not from mouse).

 
Posital
1108917.  Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:54 am Reply with quote

I have a sure-fire cure.

1) stand on one leg.
2) cross your eyes
3) hold your breath
4) pretend you have a hug-me jacket on
5) give yourself a big long hug
6) no, really hug yourself
7) keep holding your breath
8) imagine nigel farridge nekkid

Ok - it doesn't always work, but's worth a laugh and provides a distraction from those annoying hiccoffs.

Sadly, it can only work once anyway - so use only in extremis.

 
CharliesDragon
1108986.  Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:55 pm Reply with quote

WordLover wrote:
titmouse (not from mouse).


As Norwegian slang use mouse the same way English use pussy, that conjures up some strange mental images...

 
suze
1110124.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:32 pm Reply with quote

I first read that post some days ago, and made a mental note to ask a question arising. And then forgot to do it, so here goes.

If Norwegian uses mouse as a slang word for the ladybits, do you have a different name for the clicky thing that goes with a computer? Or are Norwegian computer ads full of rude jokes about mice?

 
maywatson1996
1287352.  Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:31 am Reply with quote

From an evolution perspective, Hiccups were acquired from when humans were fish, the brain pushes water over fish gills which makes the gulp for air. this process has remained in the human brain, the process makes the diaphragm spasm which in turn causes the hiccups.

Winston, Robert. Evolution Revolution: From Darwin to DNA. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2009.

 
charleschaucer
1289044.  Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:09 pm Reply with quote

The record for the longest bout of hiccups is held by Charles Osborne, who hiccupped from 1922 to 1990, a total of 68 years.

 

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