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sick +‎ -o (person with characteristic)



sicko (plural sickos or sickoes)

  1. (derogatory, slang) A person with unpleasant tastes, views or habits.
    • 1986 June 9, David Denby, Movies: Poison, New York, page 130,
      But in fact, the murders have been committed by an army of sickos, a phalanx of wild-eyed droolers led by a monster goon with a concrete jaw and a Neanderthal brow.
    • 1997, Shannon Bell, Chapter 5: On ne peut pas voir l′image [The image cannot be seen], Brenda Cossman, Shannon Bell, Lise Gotell, Becki L. Ross, Bad Attitude/s on Trial: Pornography, Feminism, and the Butler Decision, page 231,
      We can′t say that it is our responses of horror and revulsion that are upsetting to the youth; therefore, those attracted to them are deviants, sickos, who should be cured/punished like the homosexuals of the forties and fifties.
    • 2009, Stuart E. Weisberg, Barney Frank: The Story of America′s Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman, page 372,
      The conservative Boston Herald, which had earlier described the revelations about Barney′s two-year relationship with a male prostitute as “one of the most tawdry episodes in modern Massachusetts politics” and had run a story by the columnist Howie Carr calling Frank “a sicko who happens to be a pol,” urged him to resign his house seat.
  2. (US, Canada, slang) A mentally ill person.
    • 2003, Adbusters:
      So come on, doc, precisely which kind of sicko is America? You might plump for depressed (isolationist), psychopathic (lack of empathy) or even psychotic (barking mad - what P.G. Wodehouse referred to as "thinking you're a poached egg").
    • 2011, Rick Bennet, King of a Small World: A Poker Novel, →ISBN:
      You're a gambler, huh? A sicko like Essay?
    • 2012, Lillian Faderman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, →ISBN, page 130:
      It was at this time that the lesbian "sicko" became the dominant image of the woman who loved other women and curing lesbians on the couch became a big business in America.
    • 2012, Lenore Rowntree, Andrew Boden, Hidden Lives: Coming Out on Mental Illness, →ISBN, page 101:
      I couldn't hide that I was a sicko and different from the norm. I couldn't handle a full course load. I had to scale back. I felt weak, worthless, and nothing cam easily anymore.
    • 2014, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America, →ISBN, page 317:
      Every so often, I find myself with the urge to make sure people know that I am not just on Prozac but on lithium too, that I am a real sicko, a depressive of a much higher order than all these happy-pill poppers with their low-level sorrow.
  3. A physically ill person.
    • 1993, Weekly World News, page 5:
      The amazing Mr. Sick Day [Milo Filbum] has missed an amazing 73% of 1,020 work days for such ailments as a toothache, [...] "I finally gave the sicko his walking papers when other people started doing the same thing — calling in sick and all," the manager [said] ...
    • 2007, James Moore, Judi James, How to be a Teenage Millionaire, →ISBN:
      Sicko status: Can you keep going even when you're feeling out of sorts?
    • 2008, Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, Naptime Is the New Happy Hour: And Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Upside Down, →ISBN:
      Sickos: If it seems like your toddler is always sick, it's because they are.
    • 2011, Aaron E. Carroll & Rachel C. Vreeman, Don't Cross Your Eyes...They'll Get Stuck That Way!:
      You are worried about getting sick yourself, but the etiquette of asking someone to go home or to stay in bed is tricky to navigate. Some of your colleagues are ready to march the snot-nosed sicko out the door, but you wonder just how much of a problem it really is to breathe the same air.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural form sickoes is somewhat rare.


  • (day taken off work due to illness): sick day, sickie (slang)
  • (person with unpleasant tastes, views or habits): weirdo



sicko (comparative more sicko, superlative most sicko)

  1. Characterized by depraved tastes or habits; deviant.
    • 1996, Mark Richard Zubro, Another Dead Teenager: A Paul Turner Mystery, St. Martin's Griffin (→ISBN):
      “Your kid isn't nuts.” “Ever had one of his broccoli-and-asparagus omelets? Kid eats another vegetable, I'm going to ram a carrot down his throat until he gags.” “Most parents would kill for a kid like yours. Come on, admit it. This kid was sicko.”
    • 1998, Daniel Hecht, Skull Session, New York : Viking
      The damage level was sicko, even Eddy had been taken aback when they'd first gone inside, scared but trying to hide it. What was Eddy doing? "One last thing I wanna get," he'd said, and then disappeared back into the house. Now he was ...
    • 2012, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children, Yale University Press (→ISBN), page 73:
      “I didn't want that pediatrician to touch me, he was, like, a very weird guy, very sicko.” He took pictures of her genitals, and she later wondered whether this was for child pornography.