What does sic mean?

From our traffic logs, it looks like twenty-nine people have ended up at this site after entering the query “what does sic mean?” into a search engine. As an aid to others following in their tracks:

Thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally.
That from Atomica. And further:
Date: ca. 1859 : intentionally so written; used after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original <~said he seed [sic] it all>
That from the secret PEI Provincial Library Service Online Reference for which you need a PEI library card number to access (hint: PEI library card numbers appear to all start with 2 3392 and are 14 digits long).


Frances's picture
Frances on December 15, 2001 - 23:47 Permalink

From Library Technologies, Inc. Website:

Many different barcode schemes are used in business and industry. The Universal Product Code (UPC), now ubiquitous in supermarkets as a means to control inventory and pricing, is perhaps the best known barcode symbology.
Only two barcode symbologies are commonly used in libraries: Codabar (or Code-A-Bar) and Code 39 (or Code 3 of 9). In library applications, Codabar generally consists of a string of 14 digits. The first digit represents a patron or item. That is, a first digit of ‘2’ tells the circulation software that a patron number is being scanned; the number ‘3’ signifies that an item is being scanned. The next four digits (digits 2 through 5) are the institutional identifier. The local system vendor either assigns this number or the library can make up its own institution code. For example, the library might use the last four digits of its telephone number or the last four digits in its extended nine-digit ZIP code.

The next eight digits (digits 6 through 13) define the sequence ID number. Most smart barcode sequences begin with the number 1

Mike's picture
Mike on June 7, 2003 - 06:15 Permalink

Hey Dumbass…What does a discussion on “barcodes” have to do with the question at hand? Which is “What does sic mean?”

Gomar's picture
Gomar on June 14, 2003 - 06:11 Permalink


It is interesting how this site has been up for several years (I’m assuming from the date of the barcode post) and I just discovered it and Mike only just 7 days ago posted something else… Does this mean no one else cares? Or no one else has stumbled across the site!

I’m happy I now know the meaning of sic ;-)

DH's picture
DH on July 21, 2003 - 17:31 Permalink

I am happy to know the mean of [sic] as well. If I had known sooner, I could have used it in a college English paper that I wrote, in which I quoted someone verbatim, only to be reprimanded for poor punctuation (although I still got an “A”). I knew that it was incorrect punctuation when I inserted it, but I hoped the teacher would understand that it was an exact quote. Live and learn.

gabe's picture
gabe on July 21, 2003 - 21:11 Permalink

this is most interesting…

majestik's picture
majestik on July 23, 2003 - 04:36 Permalink

Woah. I stumbled across this by searching for “What does [sic] mean?” in gogle after seeing it used in an e-mail featuresd on the TechTV Cable show called Unscrewed. This is quite an interesting internet anomaly.

eri's picture
eri on July 23, 2003 - 11:05 Permalink

wow, that was the most exact match for my search phrase for a long time:) thanks for info about sic

Husker's picture
Husker on July 23, 2003 - 18:12 Permalink

Nice to read others didn’t know what the hell [sic] meant! All these years and I never took the time to find out until today……. As they say, “Live and learn”!

Lara's picture
Lara on August 4, 2003 - 19:42 Permalink

I agree. I just got fed up with not knowing and here I am. Thanks for the info!

Goob's picture
Goob on August 7, 2003 - 20:46 Permalink

Finally…I saw that all over the newspaper today in an article and it finally made me get up and go find out what the hell it stood for!

Neb the Newb's picture
Neb the Newb on August 21, 2003 - 14:49 Permalink

Now if only someone knew what it actually stands for. It is likely the initial letters of Latin words, but as I don’t know my Latin… ;)

Heather's picture
Heather on August 21, 2003 - 22:18 Permalink

I still don’t get it…. is it an acronymn for a barcoding system or some sort of identification code ???? The definition of SIC is just crap! I want to know what a SIC code is used for. I feel like HEY where is my SIC code? Do you have a SIC code? What do you do with it??

Heather's picture
Heather on August 21, 2003 - 22:29 Permalink

An Acronymn for “Standard Industrial Classification”
“A code number representing certain types of Industry and Company types”
“has been officially obsolete since 1997”

I say ignore it-

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 21, 2003 - 22:46 Permalink

The SIC code — Standard Industrial Classification — is an out-of-date standard, still widely-used, for classifying industries. It’s used quite a bit for statistical reporting on economic issues. In recent years it has been gradually replaced, in North America, with the NAICS — North America Industrial Classification System. This system, adopted by Mexico, the U.S.A. and Canada, is mostly the same for all three countries, although there are differences relating to each local economy. This SIC abbreviation is different from the word “sic.”

Steve's picture
Steve on August 28, 2003 - 06:45 Permalink

A day for the diary.. I have finally confirmed the meaning of “sic”. Thank you for the good folk at Reinvented for hosting this thread. Now I have but one question. What is the rule regarding the placement of [sic]? I guess it depends on whether you’re highlighting a spelling mistake, or grammatical error. In the case of a spelling mistake, I expect you would it place it directly after the offending word. Whereas, in the case of a grammatical mistake, you would place it at the end of the sentence. Does that sound right?

I look forward to my first usage of [sic], so beware out there, I’m watching. As for the barcode reference, please find another three letter acronym, why must you bastardise this one? :)


Debbie's picture
Debbie on September 2, 2003 - 00:42 Permalink

When someone asks me what SIC “stands for”, not what it means, I just say “Spoken in Context”. Not exactly what it was MEANT to stand for, but makes sense and I don’t have to elaborate further.

C Tompkins's picture
C Tompkins on September 25, 2003 - 13:07 Permalink


[sic] is Latin for ‘Thus’ indicating that you realise the sentence is wrong, but you are quoting it anyway. It is often used by reporters quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I would vote for him anyway cos he is cool.

SIC also stands for Standard Industrial Classification,and it is found in statistical reports. But that’s probably not what you are after aye.

Great, glad that we’ve cleared that one up.

Ed's picture
Ed on October 10, 2003 - 11:45 Permalink

You’re all gays

chonsp's picture
chonsp on October 10, 2003 - 16:32 Permalink

I agree with Ed. God bless the internet for keeping alive years old posts (you all crack me up) . Now I know the meanings of SIC I did “Google”, and the types that also what to know.

john bong's picture
john bong on October 13, 2003 - 11:11 Permalink

your all dik flops *PRAISE ED* sic is a bike shop in sydney you banna pooos

MrEguy's picture
MrEguy on October 30, 2003 - 13:07 Permalink

The meaning was apparent from its usage—but now I know what it means for sure.

I was getting sic [sic] of wondering so long about the actual meaning of sic.” —MrEguy

Franimal's picture
Franimal on November 19, 2003 - 00:51 Permalink

I find it bizarre that this site was meant to answer the question “What does [sic] mean?” but I like it! I can’t wait to tell all my friends, err, I mean, friend.

patrick shelley's picture
patrick shelley on November 24, 2003 - 08:03 Permalink

I was reading Micheal Moore’s “dude, wheres my country” (incidently, if the yanks keep bush in after reading that book, then i’ll be truly convinced that they deserve EVERYTHING they ever get regarding ‘terrorist’ (military) attacks)….anyway…a page had [sic] on it, and as i really and truly want to understand just what the F*** is going on in our world led by bush/blair, I looked up “what does [sic] mean on jeeves, and it led me to this page. Knowing what it meant didnt enlighten me as to what the f*** is going on in our world, it just indicated that the person who wrote it (in a position of importance) shouldn’t be where they are in the 1st place. I’m still trying to understand whats going with bush [sick].

georgina bush's picture
georgina bush on November 29, 2003 - 16:49 Permalink

aiyah, no lah. “sic” is one of the title names of slipknot’s song lah sia. no wonder u all blur blur. my english very poor lah. so i using singlish. can understand rite? haha…

jedimike's picture
jedimike on November 30, 2003 - 23:59 Permalink

good stuff…. hehe… I’m a college student and was using SIC incorectly… but poped it into google and, hey, found out the real meaning.

Don's picture
Don on December 11, 2003 - 01:15 Permalink

Thanks for the entertainment, I too wanted to find out what [sic] meant, and during a slow night at home I found this site. I enjoyed a good laugh ‘at’ some of you. This act should be taken on the road.

Acro's picture
Acro on December 13, 2003 - 13:43 Permalink

Should tere not be a law against using acronyms that people do not understand [uiz]?

pianoman's picture
pianoman on December 16, 2003 - 23:49 Permalink

I say “C Tompkins” has the most relevant answer. It’s what I have always deduced by putting 2 and 2 together after seeing it so many times in things I’ve read. One more thing — I also noticed that [sic] needed to be used in many of these threads, but the author didn’t…..realize it. : )

pianoman's picture
pianoman on December 16, 2003 - 23:51 Permalink

Steve’s thread was good, too. : )

Ronald B Furnish's picture
Ronald B Furnish on December 18, 2003 - 18:46 Permalink

What does the acronym ADT stand for?

c0h3n's picture
c0h3n on January 2, 2004 - 09:51 Permalink

LOL i am effing thourougly amused by this frickin’ long thread. i am so effing [sic]core. umm im just here to say everyone go listen to some metal because metal is good. and i mean music, dont go sit by a metallic element and try to listen to it, neeners. o and i am agent smith and im a ninja too. @l\l[) ! (@l\l +`/l*3 1!l<3 +l-l!5

Mark H's picture
Mark H on January 21, 2004 - 01:32 Permalink

It means Standard Industry Code

tim's picture
tim on January 21, 2004 - 20:53 Permalink

this website is wierd…

wes's picture
wes on January 23, 2004 - 01:37 Permalink

All my life,(except for when I was a baby), [sic] i’ve wanted to know what [sic] means [sic] so i can use is correctly [sic] and people will realize how smart i actually am. i’ve read all your posts and i still don’t know. You all make me sic.

klm's picture
klm on January 31, 2004 - 22:51 Permalink

if somebody makes a spelling mistake in a post or book or whatever and you want to quote them, you place [sic] after the misspelled word, that way people don’t think it was you’re fault that the word was misspelled. sic is actually latin for ‘so’ or ‘thus’

notice i said you’re when i should have said your, if you were going to quote me you would write “…that way people don’t think it was you’re[sic] fault…”
you can use it with grammatical errors or capitalization and all those other nifty things

cool one's picture
cool one on February 5, 2004 - 03:59 Permalink

Its some kind of spread like grey pupon
but its not grey

2da's picture
2da on February 9, 2004 - 01:19 Permalink

amazing that you can have a post about [sic] and still not fully understand its meaning

Fuhrer's picture
Fuhrer on February 9, 2004 - 17:14 Permalink

its as gay as the cool one. but he’s not cool.

Fuhrer's picture
Fuhrer on February 9, 2004 - 17:17 Permalink

he’s just a fucking nob[sic].

Bobbin's picture
Bobbin on February 12, 2004 - 09:28 Permalink


vao4v's picture
vao4v on February 16, 2004 - 09:26 Permalink

thx for this post mates, good to know the meaning of sic finally 0_0

G.W.'s picture
G.W. on February 16, 2004 - 21:43 Permalink

sic means that someone is quoting something they know is wrong, but are quoting it anyway.

President Bush said the sky was “(sic)red” and money was “(sic)free” Bush also said “Mr.Cheny does (sic)not controls me”

L.G.'s picture
L.G. on February 29, 2004 - 17:48 Permalink

It actually comes from the Latin, “sicut” (meaning is best translated “as is”). It is used by writers when quoting other writers to show that an error in punctuation or spelling, or a stylistic eccentricity, was present in the original version, and is not their own mistake.

Sort of a sly way of showing how clever you are by highlighting the mistakes of others.

RSimpson's picture
RSimpson on March 1, 2004 - 11:25 Permalink

ah at last the origin as well as the meaning.

Gianna's picture
Gianna on March 1, 2004 - 15:43 Permalink

I got here the same way majestik did. Except I read the (sic) in the son of sam letters..

kned's picture
kned on March 3, 2004 - 23:20 Permalink

i skipped work today because i was sic

Lameass's picture
Lameass on March 4, 2004 - 00:43 Permalink

i kan’t believe i just red that hole thread.

Mad's picture
Mad on March 5, 2004 - 04:28 Permalink

yeah… me too!

Farrell's picture
Farrell on March 6, 2004 - 00:14 Permalink

I think everyone should put their age on here so we can see how long it took for them to ask “what does (sic) mean”.