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A note on hiccups
  1. J M S Pearce
  1. 304 Beverley Road, Anlaby, Hull HU10 7BG, UK;

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    The word hiccup (hiccough or singultus) appears, from its date, to be a variation of the earlier hickock, or hicket. Hiccough, a later spelling, appearing under the erroneous impression that the second syllable was cough; it ought to be abandoned as a mere error (OED).

    The English hicket corresponds in formation to the French, and is the earliest form that evolved in series through, hickot, hickock, hickop, to hiccup. For example, T Phaer in Regim Lyfe (1553) remarked,

    “It is good to cast colde water in the face of him that hath the hicket.”

    Many other 16th century writers suggested imaginative domestic remedies. Burton’s famous Anatomy of melancholy (1651) …

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