What is the actual spelling of "sic"/"sick" in a phrase like "I will sic my dog on you"? This is a tricky one to look up in an online dictionary, every match seems to be referring to an editor's mark for a mistake.

closed as off-topic by sumelic, JJJ, Chappo, TrevorD, Neeku Apr 28 at 12:22

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  • 1
    The word is given in the verb definition on this page: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sic It says "variants: or less commonly sick" so both spellings exist according to Merriam-Webster. – sumelic Apr 26 at 19:45
  • In the US I have always seen this as sic. – aparente001 Apr 28 at 8:56

It seems both spellings are used...

(also sic)
sick something on
1 Set a dog on.
‘the plan was to surprise the heck out of the grizzly by sicking the dog on him’

1.1 sick someone on informal
Set someone to pursue, keep watch on, or accompany (another)
‘who sicked those two on to us?’

Oxford Dictinaries

  • Personally I prefer the 'sic' spelling, only because 'sick' exists as a verb with a very different meaning. 'Sic' only exists as a loan word from Latin meaning 'as' or 'so' which means that using 'sic' as a verb is less confusing. – BoldBen Apr 27 at 0:42

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