Eight Words You Can Use Next Time You Call in Sick

We’ve all done it. That day you really just don’t feel like going to work. You make your voice sound ragged, maybe fake a few sniffles, and call into work. You have to sound sick to pull of that sick day.

Well, the dictionary is here to help you. Here are eight stupendous words to make you sound sicker (and perhaps more contagious) than you truly are. And hey, some of these aren’t even lies.

1 Ataraxia (noun)
This sounds like it could be some debilitating disease (perhaps involving the clenching of muscles), but it in fact means absolute calm and tranquility—total freedom from anxiety and strain. Just imagine your ataraxia when you actually do get that sick day and stay home from work! (Source: The Superior Person’s Book of Words)

2 Borborygm (noun)
For all those people who seek a fancy word for fart, here it is. A borborygm is the noise made by gas in the bowels. It comes from the Greek word borborygmós, meaning intestinal rumblings. Here’s how you might utilize it for a sick day call: “I’m suffering from a severe case of the borborygms.?” And if you’re telling the truth, then your co-workers will thank you for taking the day off. (Source: The Superior Person’s Second Book of Weird & Wondrous Words)

3 Cardialgia (noun)
This sounds as if you’re about to have a heart attack right on the spot. Relax, it only means mild indigestion. But your co-workers don’t know that. (Source: The Superior Person’s Book of Words)

4 Collywobbles (noun)
This word just sounds like a kid made it up, doesn’t it? Having the collywobbles means you have sick tummy or you’re scared or nervous (like having butterflies in your stomach).  The word derives from a combination of wobble (as in trembling) with colic. Though if you used this word for your sick day, your boss might think you’re all of five years old. (Source: Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary)

5 Kedogenous (adj)
This adjective means something that is brought about by worry or anxiety (exactly the type of problem you have when calling in sick). Pair this with any other sickness to make it sound more extreme: “kedogenous cardialgia”. (Source: The Superior Person’s Book of Words)

6 Kinetosis (noun)
Sounds like it could be a distant relative of halitosis. This word means travel sickness. Perhaps this is a sickness you will acquire after you’ve taken the day off from work. (Source: The Superior Person’s Book of Words)

7 Lippitude (noun)
This might actually be a honest-to-goodness excuse, made a little more fancy to pass off as a true sickness. The word means a bleary-eyed condition—much as you would have after a late night of heavy drinking. Now you can call in sick because you truly are. (Source: The Superior Person’s Book of Words)

8 Tragomaschalia (noun)
This is another great sick excuse. Simply call into work and say that you are suffering from tragomaschalia. Sounds life-threatening, when really it means you suffer from  smelly arm pits. (Source: The Superior Person’s Second Book of Weird & Wondrous Words)

There you have it. Feel free to be sick all you want. Just remember, you might have to “define” your sickness if you use it too often.

Tim Kane