Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Informal Pain in the stomach or bowels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Anxiety, fear

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. severe gastroenteritis of unknown etiology; characterized by severe colic and vomiting and diarrhea

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Probably alteration (influenced by colic and wobble) of cholera morbus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Attested 1823, presumably from colic + wobble. Alternative theories are that it derives from colly ("coal dust"), via the putative sense “ill from breathing coal dust,” or that it is a corruption of cholera. The first attestation (a mention, not a usage) is in the 1823 edition of A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Examples

Comments

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  • I feel a list coming on...

    September 23, 2007

  • Around here, that feeling is also called "the creeps." :-)

    September 23, 2007

  • A feeling of unease of dread. See also: willies, heebie-jeebies.

    September 23, 2007