Learn English idioms | As sick as a parrot

English idioms are colourful expressions we use that have a special meaning. So what does it mean to say you are or you feel as sick as a parrot? Have you ever felt as sick as a parrot? Watch this video lesson and find out more about English idioms...

Talking of parrots, you have to watch the classic 'Parrot Sketch' from Monty Python just for fun...

What are your favourite English idioms? Tell us in the comments below...


I'm as sick as a parrot.

The expression as sick as a parrot means you feel very disappointed, very sad, very upset. Something has happened and you wanted it to be successful but something went wrong and in the end you felt really disappointed. So, let's say for example you have to do an exam. Let's say it's your driving test and you were really hoping to pass your driving test. You just didn't drive very well on that day. You know you can do better but on that day everything went wrong and your friend asks you, you know, "How do you feel?" and you say..."I'm as sick as a parrot!" I know I can do better. I know I'm a good driver. I feel as sick as a parrot.

You would normally use this expression after you try hard to do something. But in spite of the fact that you work hard and you put in a lot of effort things don't work out and maybe you don't know why they don't work out.

Nobody's too sure where the expression originally comes from but one possibility is in the 1970s there was a disease that some birds had and that disease, that illness could pass from birds to people and obviously people got very sick from that disease. So there were birds like parrots, birds that are kept as pets that sometimes had that disease and it was passed on to their owners.

It seems that this expression became very popular because of footballers in England and after playing very hard but losing a football match when asked how they felt rather than saying they felt very disappointed, they felt very sad, they used the expression...'to feel as sick as a parrot'.