7

Can someone make me understand the meaning of this sentence:

"I'm sick to death of all of you!"

What is the speaker trying to express? What does the phrase sick to death mean?

15

I agree with the other answers. I'll just add that "sick to death" is an example of hyperbole. The phrase originally referred to having a fatal illness. A person who was sick to death was literally on the verge of dying. Nowadays we use the phrase only as a much-exaggerated metaphor. "I'm so tired/annoyed with these people that I could die".

8

There is a primary meaning of the word as an adjective, which is ill. Collateral meanings of the word include unpleasant, which is used in your question. It's rather informal.

I'm sick at (= unhappy about) not getting that job.

It makes me sick (= makes me very angry) to see people wearing fur coats.

I'm sick and tired of (= very annoyed about) the way you're behaving.

I'm sick to death of (= very annoyed about) the way you're behaving.

She was worried sick (= very worried) when her daughter didn't come home on time.

I felt sick (= felt shocked and disgusted) when I heard about the prisoners being beaten.

It makes me (feel) sick to my stomach when I remember my car accident.

You can come across other verbs followed by to death, for which this phrase would similarly stress the action, state, or feeling mentioned.

He scares teams to death with his pace and power.

Years ago I would have worried myself to death about it, but now I accept it.

I went out last night, but not for very long. I was bored to death.

5

Sick to death is an English idiom that means that you are very bored/annoyed.

In this sentence it means : I am very annoyed with all of you

Sick to death of (Referred to someone or something):
Exceedingly wearied by, bored of, or exasperated with someone or something.

3
  • 3
    The first line of your answer is inaccurate because, as the dictionary says, the expression includes 'of'. We don't say 'bored/annoyed about all of you'. We say 'help you understand', not understanding. We don't say 'here a ' but 'here's a'. 'Useful' has one l. – Old Brixtonian Dec 18 '20 at 8:31
  • 4
    You get annoyed about a thing and annoyed with a person. Bored with/by a person. – Eddie Kal Dec 18 '20 at 8:33
  • 1
    sick to death of something means, basically, to be fed up with it. – Lambie May 4 at 15:52
3

I don't know how much grammar you want to know, but "to death" in this context is an intensifier, a word or phrase just serves only to add intensity to the sentiment expressed. "Sick of", as explained in other answers, is an idiom referring to one being displeased and fatigued by a problem -- which may be a person or other overall entity, not just a task. The intensifier, whatever it is, properly goes between the "sick" and the "of"; it may not be standard English, but it's a well-understood part of the language, a form of infixation on a phrase level instead of a word level.

You could change the words around a bit without changing the meaning, too: By changing "to death" to "deathly", an adverb,¹ you can place it before "sick of", instead of inside. It's still a hyperbolic intensifier, although it could be understood literally as well, since it's more proper English.

¹: Much like anything can be verbed, anything can be adverbed.

2

Very good answers. You often hear other phrases with a similar meaning (of weariness, irritation, in some contexts even disgust and resent because of someone or something). I will mention only a couple, in case they will help you orient your understanding even better. To be sick to death of something is a very strong form of saying

I am so fed up with all of you!

I have had enough of you all! (This one is milder and less colloquial)

1

'Sick to death' means that someone is ill to the point of dying, i.e. so sick that it may result in death. In an expression like "I'm sick to death of all of you!" the speaker is dramatically exaggerating the feelings her or she experiences in present company.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.