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).


Flailing Claptrap's picture
Flailing Claptrap on September 16, 2004 - 16:51 Permalink

I can’t believe I have read the whole of this thread…

I feel enlightened but robbed.

At least I’m happy that it was on work time and I have just earned cash for finding out about [sic]

Should be [$i

Chopper's picture
Chopper on September 17, 2004 - 20:08 Permalink

Could not believe all this just from typing “What does sic mean?” in a google search. Great to find out what it means but after reading all these posts I’m sic of it!

Daniel's picture
Daniel on September 17, 2004 - 22:20 Permalink

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

Now I know.

This reminds me of Gotfrag.


Karl's picture
Karl on September 21, 2004 - 21:44 Permalink

[sic] is totally sick

thanks to SIC

Greg's picture
Greg on September 23, 2004 - 05:45 Permalink

In The Salmon of Doubt Douglas Adams wrote “or you could set it to MANUEL [sic]”, I am at work, wanted to know queried Google and here I am. Figures that, this just added to the interconnectivity of all things.

Jason Begalke's picture
Jason Begalke on September 30, 2004 - 04:48 Permalink


Latin, so, thus
sic: 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.

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English swA; akin to Old High German sO so, Latin sic so, thus, si if, Greek hOs so, thus, Latin suus one’s own.

INFIDEL!'s picture
INFIDEL! on September 30, 2004 - 09:58 Permalink

I think I was hipnotized [sic] by this very very long thread! I must add myself to this list so that I may also live on forever as a poster on this, the longest thread in the history of in INTERNET.

now I will look at

to find out what [sic] really means.

outrovert's picture
outrovert on October 1, 2004 - 01:17 Permalink

life is like an icecream, and then you melt.

Min an Chee's picture
Min an Chee on October 2, 2004 - 08:49 Permalink

Fantastic. Libraries, evidently, are gay. However, it all seems rather spectacular that such an outcome as this ‘thread’ would arise from a ‘big bang’ millions of years ago. In the distant past. Yeah what the hell is with that anyway? Why does time take its time? Why not just get it all over now. Times up, bye!

TorontoBoy's picture
TorontoBoy on October 4, 2004 - 04:36 Permalink

This is an amazing group of people we have here… just think about the possibilities… and all because each and everyone one of us wanted to know what [sic] meant. Now that I kind of know..

thank you.

ron joy's picture
ron joy on October 14, 2004 - 10:48 Permalink

Amazing place, the net. I never knew there were so many crazy buggers(sic.) all over the place. I love it. After 30 years I find a gadzillion others have the same problems I do.
Can someone tell me what Rx means? I am really SICK but scared to goto a Doc, cos the next time they write Rx and I don’t know, I’ll DIE of curiosity(sic.).

gee-whizz's picture
gee-whizz on October 18, 2004 - 17:17 Permalink

I always thought (sic) was used to indicate that someone was being sarcastic. I cant believe how so many people could waste so much of their lives on this thread (sic)

PsychEssayist's picture
PsychEssayist on October 19, 2004 - 04:39 Permalink

Awesome, i just used sic on my essay for psychology and wanted to make sure i spelled it right i guess… my computer was telling me to make is capital. w/e. maybe it is supposed to be capital?

Rhiska's picture
Rhiska on October 20, 2004 - 22:38 Permalink

I’m 29 and it took me years to finally look up [sic] as well. That was a FABulous 30 min’s I just spent reading this thread, the longest thread I have ever read. Thank you for the knowledge and the laughs. BTW, GEORGE W BUSH ROCKS!!! Kerry is a traitor to the US armed services and unfit for President! 4 more years!

BadCC67's picture
BadCC67 on December 1, 2004 - 21:22 Permalink

Hi. At the age of 37, 17 years after first seeing [sic]this website tells me that it means “thus” or “as is”. I think it is used a lot by writers and journalists to make themselves seem clever. Sic sucks and quite frankly I’m sic of it [sic]. Or should that be (sic) or even {sic}.
I think I can survive without using sic!

Another latin expression I saw in a Surgical textbook was “vide infera.” This pee’s me off!
“The incision for the operation, vide infera is made over McBurneys point.”
For years I and many colleagues wondered whether the incision was called vide infera. Ask Jeeves has informed me that it means “see below”.
Thus or [sic] (since sic means thus) people shpould avoid using latin when simple English will do unless you are ROMAN!

BADCC67's picture
BADCC67 on December 1, 2004 - 21:26 Permalink

I meant should in my post! Sorry i’m feeling a little sic.

John Farrell's picture
John Farrell on January 4, 2005 - 02:01 Permalink

Thanks for the (sic) humor. You guys all must be from Seattle — or Helotes, TX. They have the Cornyval (sic) there every year.
Pace, yo.

Rachel Sears's picture
Rachel Sears on January 6, 2005 - 20:24 Permalink

Do you think sic and cis are related, latin origins..
btw what is the latin for ‘latin’?

Madheider's picture
Madheider on January 12, 2005 - 17:28 Permalink

Hey i still don’t know what (sic) means!

Madheider's picture
Madheider on January 12, 2005 - 17:38 Permalink

Just read some more posts. Think i get it now. That was a good hour wasted trying to find out what it means though, after about 15 years of wondering.

Alan's picture
Alan on January 12, 2005 - 18:22 Permalink

So…”sic” = “so” — sick.

madheider's picture
madheider on January 13, 2005 - 17:28 Permalink

It would appear so.

duceman's picture
duceman on January 14, 2005 - 17:16 Permalink

We’ll that helps a bunch. I just always asumed [sic] that it meant “we know this isn’t correct”

From Yahoo news…..
Last January, a Jackson supporter by the user name of Sholeh Bocchelli posted a supportive, if grammatically challenged message on the Website, FreeMichael.org.

I beleive [sic] in your total innocence, i [sic] love childeren [sic] as much as you,” the same-named Netizen wrote.

Jackson, 46, is the acknowledged father of three children, two by ex-wife Debbie Rowe, and one by an unknown woman.

curious about sic too's picture
curious about s... on January 14, 2005 - 22:16 Permalink

This is impressive. I love the internet.

Jay's picture
Jay on January 30, 2005 - 13:25 Permalink

I feel like I am part of something special. Long live this [sic] post.

Go Patriots!!!

Kevin's picture
Kevin on January 30, 2005 - 17:52 Permalink

In a quotation with several mistakes it is not necessary to insert “[sic]” for each and every mistake as long as the insert comes before the first part of the quotation but inside the quotes. Example: “[sic] I’m gonna git me some grits but I don’t never git me those instant ones.”

sic is actually an acronym for a latin phrase, anyone know the phrase? I remember my grade 5 teacher going over this (he was strange, but wonderful) and made sure that not only could we recognize impressionist painters by style, composers by the same quality, but knew enough of this stuff to drive our parents crazy if we so chose. What was really special about him (Alan Graham) was that he did this in an ordinary class in an ordinary school — shows the potential doesn’t it?

Marc's picture
Marc on January 31, 2005 - 04:15 Permalink

sic” means I am sick without Kay !

WillieBoy's picture
WillieBoy on February 4, 2005 - 01:33 Permalink

This has intrigued me for years, and I would have to say the consensus is (sic) means “thus,” because it definitely is Latin. I am a trial court judge, and a lot of time I see horrendous grammatical and spelling mistakes that appear in briefs submitted by lawyers, even though the arguments advanced by the lawyers in those briefs are very sound! So, I can’t resist quoting the lawyers’ briefs to support my decision, but have to insert (sic) quite often because the lawyers have made so many stupid mistakes!

Greg B's picture
Greg B on February 24, 2005 - 14:56 Permalink

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


(hint — “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll)


Martin's picture
Martin on March 8, 2005 - 08:12 Permalink

When found in non technical documentation, [sic] stands for “Sans Intention Comique” (without comic intention); meaning that even though the Quoter seeks to highlight an obvious error — he wishes to neither embarrass nor correct the Author.

Please, no more tossing around with this rather obvious acronym. Spread the word and get on with applying some real thought patterns……… Like how do we go about eradicating the world of Dumb Bastards and Tertiary Educated Bludgers.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on March 13, 2005 - 14:16 Permalink

All those who believe that SIC stands for an acronym such as “Sans Intention Comique” or “Spoken in Context” should be aware that acronyms rarely formed words before such use was begun in World War I and became popular during World War II. In fact, the word “acronym” itself wasn’t coined until 1943. There are exceptions, such as OK (c. 1839) and n.g. for “no good”(c. 1838) but they are extremely rare.
There are internet legends floating around that the words “golf” “shit” and “posh” are acronyms. They aren’t.

jessie's picture
jessie on March 17, 2005 - 11:34 Permalink

google rocks.

Mike K's picture
Mike K on March 28, 2005 - 19:38 Permalink

wow..I feel think I have finally found the end of the internet….

TinaMarie's picture
TinaMarie on March 29, 2005 - 17:44 Permalink

Cyberspace….wow…..I am like so freaked out….who are you people? Are you my bretheren & sisteren (sic)?

Hats off to all who came here before me, and to all that come after. Hope y’all have a nice life.

The Northeast rocks! (When it isn’t frozen.)

I’m 46 and thrilled to be here! I’ve used sic for many years, but never knew the origin or the precise definition. Can’t say I do now,either, but at least I know I haven’t used it incorrectly.

I think.

Cali-baby's picture
Cali-baby on April 5, 2005 - 03:39 Permalink

Well, I’ve always thought it meant “spelling incorrect”. But, I’ve seen it used in sentences where the spelling was correct, but it was an opinion not in quotations. That implied to me that the writer was using someone else’s opinion to enforce the story or try to make it a fact without directly saying it on their own… maybe to avoid direct controversy?
Anyway, I was compelled to know what the actual origin was and came here to this rather amusing thread. I’m quite sure it will continue to carry on as usual because more people will wonder just as I.
Thanks for the info, entertainment and time waster. :) Cheers…

Edo-San's picture
Edo-San on April 10, 2005 - 13:11 Permalink

1. How come the first few threads don’t actually discuss the meaning.
2. How come no one taught any of us this at school.
3. Can this run forever?

Jokla's picture
Jokla on April 15, 2005 - 14:50 Permalink

I’m soooo glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s been wondering what the heck this word mean. We had a guy at the office that would send out Friday humor stories and it is filled with “[sic]” and I never bothered to ask him because I didn’t want to look stupid.

But now — thanks to this site, I can’t wait to use my first “[sic]” in a letter or email. Thanks guys!!

Sam's picture
Sam on April 21, 2005 - 23:24 Permalink

Wow. If you combined us all, we would be the real life incarnation of “Neo”. It was the question that drove us, and all that…

I love it here. The obscurity of the question is a community vetting system in itself. One of the (many) posters above said we should all have lunch:- we should. A big huge beast of a “[sic] convention”, on Star Trek scale. Maybe at a hotel. Of course, we wouldn’t need to travel abroad, we could just have live webcasts from each hotel broadcast to the others. Little sausages on cocktail sticks might go down well too.

I think we have finally nailed the meaning down… through the heart. I would like to thank everybody… (wait wait — I was going to pretend to be the original poster then, figuring no-one would be bothered to scroll back to the top to check… heh heh).

Perhaps each new post should start with “Hi, i’m 26, from Staffordshire in the UK”, or whichever applicable age and location fits.

Is there a www.sic.com .co.uk .org or whatever? If not, I want it. I’ll pay cash money for it… although one-hundred ish posts in four years isn’t exactly booming business, I think it would constitute a ‘select clientelle’.

This is gonna be my homepage from now on.

littleghost's picture
littleghost on May 24, 2005 - 13:10 Permalink

You’re all right…this must be the end of the internet. I’m dreading sending this post but I feel compelled.

littleghost's picture
littleghost on May 24, 2005 - 13:12 Permalink

BTWa [sic] club would be excellent. Make the link really obscure…like a random post on here…then we’d have no fakers…

sic_sister's picture
sic_sister on May 30, 2005 - 01:39 Permalink

After reading these posts I felt compelled to add something — Has anybody thought that it might mean:
[sic] — someone is confused

I feel better now.

Canada rules!
Cheers :)

Bob Vila's picture
Bob Vila on June 2, 2005 - 20:51 Permalink

What a great site. If someone actually posts a helpful reply to the meaning of [sic], I’ll never visit it again. And neither will anybody else.

THE LIBERTINE on June 7, 2005 - 21:21 Permalink

So here’s an analogy for this site. If the interenet is one big sprawling monster then this site is the very tip of the monster’s tail.
And I like the idea of all contributers meeting. If we do we should have a BBQ! However, we will need hotdogs—I say we kill and use the sprawling monster!
P.s. Kids, don’t use crack [sic] when writing your contributions!

tkbr0wn's picture
tkbr0wn on June 7, 2005 - 21:51 Permalink

Sic is actually a virus written by a Indonesian teenager that infects your pc and formats your harddrive while you are reading this thread. When you close this window, there will be nothing left and you will offically be Screwed In (the) Coochie.

Billy's picture
Billy on June 15, 2005 - 08:05 Permalink

It wouldn be right not to add to this beautiful thread. OH YEAh at least i know what it means

davecrowell's picture
davecrowell on June 15, 2005 - 17:26 Permalink

This is the coolest site I have ever seen. It even has Michael Moore fans and Bush-bashers — what site would be complete without them.

Sorry I couldn’t think of a witty way to include ‘sic’ in my post.

For Michael Moore’s fans: http://www.davekopel.org/Terro…

Pam's picture
Pam on June 16, 2005 - 03:00 Permalink

So very cool. All my life I have wondered what [sic] meant and I cannot believe how many others actually didn’t know either and were just as curious as me. I felt kinda stupid trying to find the meaning on the web; it’s such a small thing to care about but I can see I’m not alone. This is too funny. But even funnier was how many posts I had to read before I found the answer. :)

Matt's picture
Matt on June 17, 2005 - 14:28 Permalink

I guess I am another one who did not know what sic meant. It must say something about the type of person I am to take 33 years to find out. Anyway, I am glad I know now and if I ever write a book I am going to use it extensively.

SteveH's picture
SteveH on July 4, 2005 - 14:55 Permalink

Yup, another one who didn’t know about (sic) and stumbled across this thread to have only just emerged years later. I guess the obvious question is, if this isn’t the longest thread, what was or still is?

samsung's picture
samsung on July 4, 2005 - 15:24 Permalink

whoa — if each of the stupid ass words in the dictionary had a website like this!!! Anyhow, since none of you have been able to figure in 2 years the meaning of sic, I’ll let you in on the secret.
SIC is a word from the ancient civilization of Arantola. Arantola once was the secret capital of Napoleon’s empire in Europe. The inhabitants there were quite fond of a particularly intoxicating drink that tasted like beer — it was called Seineken. Once inebriated, they would make queer guttural noises that sounded like “SIC”. So the word sic came to be understood as something being said by a person in an intoxicated state. When you drink a lot of Heineken, don’t you go…”hic”. similarly, if you had too much to drink of Seineken, what would you do…atta boy!!

You’re welcome :)