Thursday, March 30, 2006

ETC: To the Vomitorium!

No big post today. I woke up at 6 am fighting queasiness, and I finally lost the battle at 9 am. I've been [insert your preferred euphemism for violently ejecting the contents of your stomach] ever since.* Blargh.

But perhaps all you people who live inside my computer can help settle a debate I just had via IM with Rusty. What is a "stomach bug" exactly? Is it flu? Or is it food poisoning? Help us, o wise brothers and sisters of the internet.

And so long as I'm asking questions, just out of idle curiosity, what IS your favourite euphemism for vomiting? I've always liked "barf." It's simple, onomatopoeic (is that a word?), and kind of old school. Just like me.


*No, I am not pregnant. In case you were wondering.

39 comments:

Carrie said...

I like "barf" too, but I like it when other people say "hurl" because it makes me feel better than them.

A stomach bug is whenever embarrasing stuff happens to your butt or your belly and you don't know why. It usually involves streams of under-digested food too.

Hope that helped.

Angie said...

Food poisoning often is a stomach bug. It's not the flu because flus come with aches, fevers, and so forth. Bugs are weird because it's hard to tell why they're there. Is it food poisoning? Is it a virus? It so doesn't matter because you still feel like crap.

Oddly, Sars says she has the flu too. I'm fleeing your page so I don't catch it. (The sad thing is I'm semi-serious.

Griffin said...

Either "Talking to Ralph on the big white phone" or "technicolor yawn."

That said, two of the posters at another blog I frequent are sick - now you! Is this a computer virus? Am I next?

Anyway, feel better.

Melanie said...

I've always been partial to "up-chuck," don't know why.
I always assumed that "stomach bug" meant "stomach-flu" meaning not influenza, but a cold with vomiting...bug=germ in my mind. Probably also because I've heard 1-day colds referred to as a "24-hour bug."

Matthew E said...

As a Dungeons and Dragons aficionado I must speak up for 'prismatic splatter'.

Meepers said...

Sadly, most "24 hour flus" are mild cases of food poisoning, as per Angie's comment.

I like "puke", "throw up", "chum" and "barf." And I'm sure you are now doing that in your mouth at all our descriptions.

Hydrate, electrolytes and the BRAT (banannas, rice, applesauce and toast) diet. Easy on the butter.

Annie said...

I like the "big spit," personally.

Average Jane said...

I've always been partial to "yakk."

roughmagic said...

Yep, lots of "stomach bugs" are some kind of e-coli thingy -- not surprising among parents who handle, um, intestinal matter on a daily basis. I grew up with "upchuck" (from my Chicagoan dad, who also referred to full diapers as "jobbies") but prefer the Shakespearean "puke."

Amanda A. said...

barf is great. For the real projectile vomiting I use Hurl. It gets the distance and velocity element in there

Doppelganger said...

roughmagic: So this is Sam's fault? Why does that not surprise me? And after everything I've done for that kid.

Meepers: I have a pretty iron stomach when it comes to barf chat. I'm one of those people who can dine with friends and enjoy such scintillating dinner conversation topics as "Embarrassing Stories About Puking in Public" without batting an eyelash. It's a gift from god, I tell you.

lumenatrix said...

As for the words, I like puke and hurl, both expressive without being gross.

A stomach bug is anything that wrecks havock on your stomach/ intestines and you either a) aren't sure what is causing it or b) are trying to be discreet and not go into TMI land (ie. explaining to the boss why you are calling in sick.)

Teleri025 said...

Personally I've always been fond of hurl. But in my group of friends we use the euphemism "making a bunny". It's a long story, but funny.

J said...

I like "lose your lunch."

However, I really posted to tell you about my polite company euphemism. I will warn you up front that this is ambiguous, yet I find that most people know what I mean.

"I was physically ill."

A little inflection on the word, "physically," helps. Only on rare occasions have I fallen back on pantomime to indicate what I really mean.

Wing Chun said...

Okay, not to be gross in a different way than this is already gross, but for it to be food poisoning, isn't diarrhea also involved? Or did I just get super-lucky when I had it so bad last year that I had to go to the urgent care because I'd been so deprived of oxygen holding my breath through the cramps that my hands had tensed up into claws?

Anyway, I like good old "throw up." I think it goes back to childhood -- saying "I threw up!" still makes you sound so plaintive and pitiable, even if you're thirty-one, and is likely to earn you an offer of dry toast and flat ginger ale.

Melissa said...

I'm a fan of "puke." It sounds kind of chipper and makes the whole process seem a lot more pleasant. But I am not a fan of puking.

I don't think actual food poisoning is that common, is it? When I was a manager and people called in sick with food poisoning, it almost always meant hangover. I guess they figured the symptoms were the same.

... said...

Uh... I was over last night. YOU HAD BETTER NOT BE CONTAGIOUS.

feel better soon

Julie said...

I like the term yark.

Doppelganger said...

See, now it's funny that so many of you like "puke," because I've always found that word a little too onomatapoeic for me.

And Melissa, out of curiosity I checked out good ol' Wikipedia, which had this to say about the commonality of food poisoning. But in a nutshell, apparently it's RIDICULOUSLY common. Get this:

There are every year about 76 million foodborne illnesses in the United States. Of these, 325,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000 people die.

So... heh. Don't worry about me being contagious. Worry that YOU ATE MY COOKING.

Doppelganger said...

Oh, and Wing? Am I allowed to talk about diarrhea on the internet? Wow.

Also, everyone should go read Teleri025's story, because it's funny! Tell me about the rabbits...

Reset said...

I'm throwing in a vote for "boot", which always makes me giggle.

Anonymous said...

I like "leggo my Eggo" which I stole from "Night Court."

And it sounds like a mild case of food poisoning to me -- hope you're all better soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. Because I'm knee-deep in Spenser at the moment, I'm partial to "Spueing of the gorge." Fine. Just "Spue."

Em said...

Lately, I like "spee-yack." Although, sound-wise, that sounds like spitting then yacking. Personally, I yack, then spee.
I once learned that food poisoning is the "24 hour flu" because there's no such thing as a flu that's only on for 24 hours. Food poisoning is more fleeting. A bug stays with you. That's the only distinction I've ever made.

Melissa said...

Whoa. Thanks for the link. Who knew?

Adrian said...

Here in Australia vomiting is the subject of an awful lot of vernacular. I was going to mention the "technicolour yawn", but you already know that one. There's "driving the porcelain bus", and of course there's "spew", which has a secondary level of meaning in which if you're particularly annoyed/pissed off about something you were hoping would go your way (a bet, a job interview, a date, etc), in talking about it to a friend you might demonstrate your disappointment by saying, "I was spewin', I really was!"

Here, if you've got the sorts of symptoms you describe, you'd say you had "a bit of the gastro" (as in gastroenteritis), or a "dose of the collywobbles", or you might just be "crook in the guts".

I don't know how common food poisoning is here, but I do remember a guy who used to live with my wife and me, who had food poisoning about once a fortnight, because he ate an awful lot of KFC. I asked him if perhaps it might be wise not to eat their products. "Nah," he told me. "It's an acceptable risk." Aiiieee!

I hope you feel better soon, DG. This is one of my favourite blogs.

katiedid said...

I like "hork." I don't know where on earth I picked that one up, since no one I know uses that word. My husband is annoyingly fond of the phrase "worshipping the porcelain goddess," which was not annoying until I was pregnant, and then I heard it so many times that I tried to bribe him to STOP using it. Sad to say, there was nothing I could offer to make him abandon it. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I use the somewhat rare "hork". Last year I tried to make "upload to the porcelain server" catch on.

It did not.

Rustybelle said...

At home we used to say we were "calling for Huey".

Amongst the work friends it's known as "delegating the report", there is no reason for this.

Essy said...

'Upchuck' just makes me think of the bit in the Ramona books, where Beezus thinks she is too cool and grown up to say 'throw up' so she says 'upchuck' instead.

I like hork for its onomatapoeic value and boot for its cutesy retro vibe. Being British I also get a lot of mileage out of "being sick" (over here "being ill" means you're unwell, "being sick" implies vomit). And for emergencies, when I need to telegraph the imminent future in as few syllables as possible, "vom" does the job admirably.

And as far as I'm concerned a bug is something you catch. So it would apply to flu or to food borne contagion, but not to the results of inadequately cooked pork.

Anonymous said...

I prefer "tossing my cookies"...oddly related, I knew a British guy who always said that stomachs are lined with carrots (say that in a British accent, it sounds pretty funny), because everytime you throw up there always seems to be some carrot like item...

It's a late flu season this year, and you're a lucky winner. Hope you feel better soon.

alphaharpy said...

A friend of mine was pregnant with a pounding migraine, and up late one night feeling miserable. She felt the spew coming and grabbed the nearest bowl to barf into. She did her dirty business, just standing there in the living room, then realized that she had grabbed a colander.

Antipodean said...

alphaharpy, ewwww!

I'm generally an "Throw up" kinda girl. Claudia Kishi and friends had to teach me what the word barf actually meant - we don't have that here.

The one word associated with vomit that will ALWAYS make me mentally hurl is....

Chunder. A vile, disgusting, makes-me-feel ill-even-writing-about-it word that descirbes the vomit.

adventures in disaster said...

welcome to the wonderful world of either Norwalk, a lovely viral infection that for healthy people causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea not all in that order and not necessarily all of the above or C-Difficile another incredibly resistant bacteria whuch causes N/V/D..mostly D..in copious amounts...the best known culprits for a stomach bug.
Both are crazy infectious spread by people who for some unknown reason refuse to wash their hands.

I can attest to KFC being the cause of the worst case of food poisoning I have ever had. Chickens are carriers of salmonella..salmonella can be fatal..KFC sucks. If they had washed their hands/cooking surface after handling the chicken it wouldn't happen but it seems making people wash their hands must violate some constitutional right.
Can you tell I am a nurse?
please wash your hands...you can actually reinfect yourself and anyone around you if you don't.
You don't need to use some fancy antibacterial wonder soap either, normal soap and water for fifteen seconds does the job.

Doppelganger said...

adventures in disaster, I think you've hit the nail on the head. All of those symptoms came back with a vengeance yesterday. Plus chills, sweats, and allover achiness. Ugh. I feel lousy.

I've always been a semi-compulsive compulsive hand washer, and it's increased tenfold since Sam was born. Wash your hands, everyone! Someone once told me that you should time yourself by singing the "Happy Birthday" song... which also makes handwashing fun!

April said...

I use "urp". You can say "I feel a bit urpy", or "I urped, unfortunately". It's got that nice onomatapoeic quality, without the 11-year-old ring of "barf".

adventures in disaster said...

I think you are in Toronto and if you are we are suffering from one of the worst outbreaks of Norwalk virus in history. We are actually closing emergency rooms and nursing homes..it has become increasingly fatal to some of our veterans.
If you don't get past it within twenty four hours a trip to the er is in order..you can become badly dehydrated in a very short period of time. Monitor how often you are peeing, it will give you a good idea of how badly dehydrated you are.
The Er can also give you some help with the nausea,replace some of your fluids and get the worst of the diarrhea under control. Remember that most ers do not treat diarrhea unless you are really,really dehydrated..diarrhea is the bodies way of expelling the virus.
Use a seperate bathroom and make friends with bleach..bleach all surfaces and wash your linens in bleach...bleach kills everything.
Sorry about you luck.
rules to live by;
never shake hands with anyone ever.
never use a public bathroom unless it's desperate..if you have to? wrap your hands in paper and touch no door handles or faucets.
Stay out of fast food restaurants.
Stay away from hospitals and nursing homes..spreads like wildfire there.
If you use day care bath once you get home and change clothes..use only disposable diapers when in day care..can change to cloth when you get home.
-The only defence is washing your hands and keeping your hands away from your face..a lot harder than it sounds.

Juliane said...

There's also something called "food toxicity." Food poisoning, as I was taught, is when you ingest the E. coli (or whatever bug). It travels through your digestion secreting it's toxin and makes you very very sick in about 24-48hrs and can last at least as long (again, depending on the bug). When you eat just the toxin (like off of a dirty plate or utensil) and not really any bugs, it's called "Food toxicity". The sickness is IMMEDIATE (onset within an hr) and very rapidly clears (less than 24hrs).

Yes, I *am* a dork.
Hope you feel better soon!

kelly said...

"worshipping the porcelain goddess" is a personal favorite. My boyfriend says "calling the dinosaurs".