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).


SIC of it's picture
SIC of it on May 27, 2004 - 19:01 Permalink

It took me 37 years to look up the word sic. I’m sorry I did. I had to be sic[sic] to read thru[sic] this entire tread[sic].

BTW what DOES et al mean?

dev's picture
dev on June 1, 2004 - 18:09 Permalink

‘et al’ is sort of like ‘and all’


I hate the entire Bush administration… George, Dick et al”

sam's picture
sam on June 2, 2004 - 17:04 Permalink

phew. been meaning to look this up for 2 years +. now i know. satisfying, eh?

Dave's picture
Dave on June 2, 2004 - 22:14 Permalink

I can’t believe that I came across 2 sites discussing the meaning of [sic]. That is jsut [sic].


sic fuk[sic]'s picture
sic fuk[sic] on June 2, 2004 - 22:20 Permalink

You know your job is dissatisfying when you should be working and instead you’re reading articles on CNN about 11 year old girls writing to Nordstrom’s about making their teen clothing lines less slutty and then you come across the word [sic] and then google the meaning of [sic] and then you decide to read 2 1/2 years of posts and then add your own.(Should a [sic] be placed after a run-on such as this one if it were a quote? Can a [sic] be used within parentheses as I’ve done here?)

Istanbul T's picture
Istanbul T on June 3, 2004 - 14:19 Permalink

> Why do golfers take two pairs of pants with them???
> In case they get a hole in one.

and just to stay on the subject of [sic]….

> What did the fish say when it swam into a wall???
> Dam!!! [sic]

Reggin's picture
Reggin on June 6, 2004 - 04:23 Permalink

This is the greatest thread of all times. I now know the meaning of [sic], and many other secrets of the universe.

Doobie's picture
Doobie on June 9, 2004 - 20:07 Permalink

you find yourself wondering at the end of this thread about the very fabric of the universe and its general integrity…
this is an awsome thread. i feel that others at the turn of the century simply chose not to add to it and then Frances’ entirely confusing addition on the discussion of the reason why the PEI library card number was the way it was sparked this generation of aimless pondering.

for the record

et al * comes from the Latin et alii, meaning “and others”
i think next time i’ll just ask my english prof…

Meileen's picture
Meileen on June 12, 2004 - 00:26 Permalink

[sic] means “Spelling in Citation”. It would imply that the spelling, which you recognize to be correct, has been copied from its source, which has been cited. In legal documents it is against the law to cite and change the meaning (fraudulent), and so the use of [sic] has evolved as a critical way to assure people that the mistake is not yours. It does not mean “thus” or have any latin connotations, and it certainly is not the same S.I.C. as Standard Industrial Classification.

nusquam's picture
nusquam on June 14, 2004 - 00:41 Permalink

I just read a news article where a phrase is quoted from a subject that had written on a billboard, and the phrase was quoted in the same way it was spelt, which had spelling errors, finishing with the word sic. Which would have me to believe that sic in this case, is the Latin word, used to confirm what has been written is correct/right and not an error of the author.
Now if you were just going to pull parts of my text above and use it in a legal document maybe S.i.C. would be required, but if this whole paragraph was going to be used in its entirety and you were worried that somebody might think that all the above grammatical and spelling errors would be associated to you, then you would like to be putting the word sic at the end of it, so people didn

jasper's picture
jasper on June 17, 2004 - 20:40 Permalink

[sic] isn’t an acronym …so quit sweating over what the letters stand for. it is used to indicate that any error in quoted text is from the author. there aren’t totally definitive rules for its use, but instead needs to be used with one’s own judgment concerning whether the errors would possibly be attributed to the quoter or not. generally just grammar and spelling stuff is noted, not meaning or content. even grammar is often questionable, because we assume as readers that the words are what they are, but the source of a spelling error can be ambiguous (or sometimes you want people to notice that the error was in the text originally which can help your case when you are quoting a dumbass! haha). you should use the square brackets [sic].

et al. means “among others”

you’ll see it when people cite others in text but don’t want to write all the names, and people sometimes use it in other ways like bush et al.

LAMI's picture
LAMI on June 20, 2004 - 11:34 Permalink

How Do You Pronounce MNOPSPTEICHE? [sic]

boyo's picture
boyo on June 25, 2004 - 13:40 Permalink

Just ate 3 cream cakes…. I feel slick [sic]

KT's picture
KT on June 29, 2004 - 16:59 Permalink

I don’t mean to change the subject… but what does valorized/valorised mean??

KS's picture
KS on July 1, 2004 - 18:38 Permalink

VALORIZED: To fix or stabilize the price of (a commodity, etc), especially by a policy imposed by a government or other controlling body.

Charlie P. Cowen's picture
Charlie P. Cowen on July 2, 2004 - 14:22 Permalink

Should the word be used in describing God? It is my feeling that the word does take away from the true meaning of God.
You actually havent given me the meaning of the term and how it should be used correctlt in reference to describing God. I do not believe it should be used in describing God.
Please give me your true thoughts regarding the use of the word (term)

mikeyg's picture
mikeyg on July 9, 2004 - 20:27 Permalink


backspace's picture
backspace on July 11, 2004 - 05:00 Permalink

I too have been wondering until now. It is f-a-n-t-a-s-i-c

Mathius's picture
Mathius on July 12, 2004 - 05:59 Permalink

this is just sic [sick] [SIC]

but it is “f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c [SIC]”

this is what i call a CONSPIRACY.

the day we find out what [SIC] means is that day that George Bush finds weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Bree's picture
Bree on July 14, 2004 - 18:01 Permalink

reading thru the years of comments i forgot how i got to this site…i guess i am sic

biff's picture
biff on July 16, 2004 - 04:46 Permalink

fuck fuck fuck

Mike's picture
Mike on July 16, 2004 - 10:07 Permalink

Just think: You’re interviewing some fucking hick for the newspaper, and he can barely speak, due to his mother technically being his sister, who technically should have been his brother before the hormone therapy. In order to publish his words exactly, without you looking like a fucking dickhead, just dump it all on (sic). I just generally think of it as meaning “Spelling Is Correct” In other words, “Hey, I’m just quoting some fucking heffer”. Oh-and I agree with Biff up there. FUCK!

Marz's picture
Marz on July 19, 2004 - 16:53 Permalink

Im love sic (sic) ….. I wish the girl i like knew how i felt about her, and how much i wanted to be with her.. but she likes me i no (sic) she does….. she has told me she likes me…. but her dad wants her to marry sumone (sic) else… :(…. and her dads a bad man, she hates her dad.. infact.. but doesnt want to upset her family.

. I dont know what to do, my hearts torn. True story… am sad, but still tryin to keep my sense of humour…. even though… I cant even sleep and have a real bad headache worrying…

Camel's picture
Camel on July 22, 2004 - 19:59 Permalink

Never laughed so much in my life…feels great to know there are so many of us out there…

Go to the address box and replace 508 with 420 and you would see “Where it all began?”…some indian behind this??

Dan B.'s picture
Dan B. on July 23, 2004 - 06:59 Permalink

Sic” is used directly after a mispelling in a snetence [sic]. When writing papers, it is customary to put “sic” in brackets, as I just did after the mispelled word in the previous sentence.

Someone asked if it could be used after quoting a statement containing a grammatical error, either immediately after the error, or, at the end of the sentence. The answer is usually neither. When you are quoting someone, any grammatical errors the reader comes across should be understood as just that…errors not of the writer’s own making, thus you do not need to use “sic.” I can’t think of any time I’ve come across usage like this, however, I’m not saying it’s not allowed or doesn’t happen, just not as far as I know. At any rate, the popular usage of “sic” is to show that you did not make spelling errors yourself.

kg's picture
kg on July 29, 2004 - 05:51 Permalink

after 41 years i was so tired of wondering what [sic] stood for i decided to use my internet time at university to find out….little did i know it would bring me to a stupid website about barcodes, but it seems some of you bright sparks decided to put me out of my misery and clear up one of lifes little mysteries……..i have been entertained and its passed my time away til my next lecture…oh and i have decided to use [sic] wherever possible, maybe i can baffle my tutors with bullshit too….i’m just a happy little vegemite :)

pn's picture
pn on July 29, 2004 - 17:05 Permalink

so as of today, we have close to 1 billion internet users globally. ok, probably only 50% of these users can understand english. we therefore have a pool of c.500 million people who could have read this page during its two and a half year (so far!) existence. yet no-one can provide a definitive answer to this seemingly simple question?

does that mean that those people who actually use those three letters responsible for this entire thread do so without actually knowing what the letters stand for, but simply in the knowledge that they are using them in the correct context to, ironically, highlight his/her quoted author’s fallibilities?

funny. i think i’ll bookmark this page and come back again next year. maybe we’ll have a straight answer by then. :)

…nahh….. :)))

Thus's picture
Thus on July 29, 2004 - 22:05 Permalink

Look you lot, its been said a number of times already; (sic) refers to the latin “thus” hence meaning that in a direct quote a syntax error, misspelling or grammatical error was said exactly as that, or to be concise, said “thus”. It is what it is, no more no less. Refer to dictoinaries, enclyclopaedias & you’ll find this is the case.

On a lighter note, I just saw a protester here in Boston, (DNC Week) yelling about something or other in a large shabby group marching up Boylston St, fall off his bicycle and eat asphalt. Priceless!

Back you work you lot!

razor's picture
razor on July 29, 2004 - 22:21 Permalink

uhm.. now this is fascinating..
I won’t bother to count, but there is probably twenty identical explanations of what [SIC] means in this thread..
As always, people just can’t learn to check what others have been writing..
By the way; is there ANYONE here that is an actual regular at reinvented.com, and has no come via google wondering what the hell [sic] meant?


Mathius's picture
Mathius on July 31, 2004 - 16:06 Permalink

obviously people have their own opinion on what SIC means; and feel the need to express them.

I for own like the more “scientific” explanation; that being SIC actually stands for ‘spoken in context’. The explanations makes more sense to me.


there is no denying that latin was the birthmother of english, so SIC meaning thus, or so is also a good explanation. This would be more of a “spiritual” explanation.

But like i said, me being a more “scientific” person, I like the abbreviation explanation better.

it’s just like the argument that bible thumpers and lab rats will be having for the remainder of eternity…. did we evolve from monkeys, or did God ‘create’ us?

we’ll just never know. heh

Pat Doherty's picture
Pat Doherty on July 31, 2004 - 19:24 Permalink

One of the regulars on www.georgecarlin.com BBS asked the group was [sic]meant and I stole some of your explaintions here to give them, now I look smart at yer [sic] expence!


Jim F.'s picture
Jim F. on August 6, 2004 - 07:06 Permalink

After reading all that I feel like I am part of some club, so I guess I should post. What amazed me the most at reading all the posts was that many still used [sic] incorrectly. Wow. Thank you reinvented.net!

Pol's picture
Pol on August 11, 2004 - 03:23 Permalink

We should all meet up and eat lunch sometime.

JASON's picture
JASON on August 12, 2004 - 22:17 Permalink


BENTON's picture
BENTON on August 15, 2004 - 14:33 Permalink

Thanks for the page.

Ian M.'s picture
Ian M. on August 19, 2004 - 07:04 Permalink

Hah! Been using SIC for a long time! Know I now the
meaning…I love obscure latin references.. a 2,000
year old empire and we still have their words in
our lexicon! We should be so lucky to see if any of
our crappy words survive 10 minutes. By the time
I write this ‘Bling’ or ‘Krunk’ will be obsolete!

BTW I really hate bar scannners they give me a headache.
And I REALLY REALLY hate articles about them.. :)

All you college students. Be true to yourself and what
you want to do. Believe in your dreams and yourself.
Find a way to do what you love as a career if your
heart and soul is in it the money will follow..
Just thought I would interject since so many of
my college buddies went the safe route and did
something they didn’t love for money. Sometimes
I feel like I am the only one who took the road
less travelled. Hard? Yes very.. But rewarding as all

Kwyjibo's picture
Kwyjibo on August 19, 2004 - 15:21 Permalink

Wow. Pretty cool. I’ve been wondering what “[sic]” meant for a few years now, but finally did the “Ask Jeeves” search on it today. In case you’re wondering, I am 31.

Previously, I had come up with my own meaning, “Spoken in context” as Debbie (post #14, above) also did. Now I’m glad I know the real meaning and usage. I am an engineer, however, and seldom quote other people in my work. So I doubt I’ll ever have any good reason to use it.

PAK's picture
PAK on August 20, 2004 - 17:13 Permalink

Vote for John Kerry- we need a more sensitive, kind and loving war. John will bring healing to the inner children of the all the terrorists. He is the only good and nonstupid white male (self included). Out of all the super-wealthy politicians that have postured themselves to be an “adverage Joe,” John is the first to really, really mean it! Trust me!

…and besides, have you heard? He’s got THREE PURPLE HEARTS …and in only 4 months of tour!

[really sic]

rebekah's picture
rebekah on August 22, 2004 - 23:56 Permalink

i hate john kerry.who gives a fuck if he won 3 purple hearts in a four months of tour.Come to think about,i hate politics altogether.i
don’t even understand why we need a president..if the iraqies (my spelling sucks.)or the germins whatever.if the wanna bomb us,i say let’em.i don’t care if i die.i’ll die sooner or later.and i also
thought [sic] meant “spoken in context” (as many others did) and it’s also a slipknot song. well,i’m out. :)

clever1's picture
clever1 on August 23, 2004 - 04:20 Permalink

this has wasted 5 minutes of my time as well. procrastination at its best. thanks for all the replies.

Dre's picture
Dre on August 23, 2004 - 16:29 Permalink


Dam [sic] you are a fast reader… I just wasted half an hour reading this. I do feel smarter for doing so though.

The reason I came here > > > “He’s got electrisy too, Mom!” (sic.).

SaltyDoucheBag's picture
SaltyDoucheBag on August 26, 2004 - 06:39 Permalink

Whats a GUY’em? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a Guyyyy’emmmmmmmm…”[sic]. If I am correct, this is how homer would say it. Thanks website place place now I know everything.

me homie's picture
me homie on August 27, 2004 - 19:33 Permalink

Hey all,

(sic) is short for sicuro or “safe”. Use if after quoting spelling errors or statements you know not to be correct…your essentially acknowledging the error, and not perpetuating it…my 2cents

cornelia James's picture
cornelia James on August 28, 2004 - 07:59 Permalink

I love the last sic I saw. It followed the trendy new flip flops worn by a beautiful model and she referred to them as her John Kerry shoes.

AbS's picture
AbS on September 7, 2004 - 10:36 Permalink

[sic] or (sic) (Latin for “thus”) is a bracketed expression used to indicate that an unusual spelling, phrase, or any other preceding quoted material is intended to be read or printed exactly as shown (rather than being an error) and should not be corrected. When found in a French document, (sic) stands for “Sans Intention Comique” (without comic intention) meaning that even if the preceding text could be understood as funny, it was not meant to be.
This is a expression used in many languages, like Portuguese also.

Sorry guys for added another post!!!
But I think it’s needed.

everyone's picture
everyone on September 7, 2004 - 22:57 Permalink

…and my addition to the absurdity…

Stepping In Crap… Definitely (sic)

joe's picture
joe on September 7, 2004 - 23:43 Permalink

Finally i know that the heck (SIC) is. I’ve had 5 english teachers/professors who must be incompetent because i”ve been asking the meaning for years and recieved no clue until now.

Julian's picture
Julian on September 9, 2004 - 11:27 Permalink

what does (sic) mean?

Put that in Goolge and it gets you here.

Jop's picture
Jop on September 9, 2004 - 16:33 Permalink

I can’t believe I read the whole thread. Entertaining + I found out what [sic] means after many years ;)

HELLO MISTER's picture
HELLO MISTER on September 15, 2004 - 21:22 Permalink

I LIKE beer AND this IS a VERY long THREAD
sorry for being me
I am just contributing to the awesome amount of text that is necessary to expalin (sic) what (sic) means!!
BUBBA (with steroids)