There’s no doubt that slang – or, more specifically, collocates – are a lot of fun. They often mean “out of shape” or “sick,” and can also refer to anything from a concussion to an ill teacher. Here are some examples. In addition to being slang, sicks are often used to describe things that are not really sick but are nevertheless unhealthy. These examples of collocates might surprise you.
A positive sick is used to describe something that is incredibly good or highly regarded. It does not normally occur with grading adverbs, but it does appear in a number of contexts, such as describing a joke or an outfit. This usage of sicks grew in popularity in the late eighties and has recently become common in British English. It follows the use of sicks in negative contexts, though – inverted meanings – are actually older than we might think. In 1920, American author F. Scott Fitzgerald first used the word ‘wonderful’ in his novel This Side of Paradise.