Have/get a hiccup


Hi all!:) Could you please tell me if this expressions are correct : He has a hiccup. He get a hiccup. He has a loud hiccup.

Thank you
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    The first two are incorrect.
    He has a hiccup.
    He has the hiccups. This means he's suffering from a case of the hiccups.
    He get a hiccup.
    He's got the hiccups. He got the hiccups.
    He has a loud hiccup.
    This, while unusual, could work if you mean his hiccups are generally loud, like "He has a loud voice". But if you mean his hiccups are loud on a certain occasion, as I think you do, I suggest His hiccups are loud or He's hiccupping loudly.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    If someone is making that sound repeatedly, I would say they have the hiccups.
    If it happened only once, I might say he had a hiccup or gave a hiccup.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    The Online Etymology Dictionary says:

    hiccup (n.)

    1570s, hickop, earlier hicket, hyckock, "a word meant to imitate the sound produced by the convulsion of the diaphragm" [Abram Smythe Palmer, "Folk-Etymology," London, 1882]. Compare French hoquet, Danish hikke, Persian hikuk, Hindi hichki, etc. Modern spelling first recorded 1788; An Old English word for it was ælfsogoða, so called because hiccups were thought to be caused by elves.


    1620s, a more recent variant of hiccup (q.v.) by mistaken association with cough.

    So it appears that the spelling changed but the pronunciation didn't.

    Or maybe it was pronounced 'hik coff' for some time?


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Well, in Sanskrit it's hikka that has no p at the end (Search google for हिक्का in english ) and play the audio. So it has either had an f or a p added at different times on its way to us!


    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I wish I thought most AE speakers would pronounce it correctly (or even understand it).
    But JulianStewart's (#7) link to the Ngram Viewer shows that it's not a BE/AE thing—it's an old/new thing.
    But back to the original question, on verbs to use with "hiccup":
    In #3 above, I suggested "had" or "gave".
    I think "gave" is much better from the perspective of people nearby who hear the hiccup.
    And maybe "had" is better for the person who involuntarily undergoes the hiccup. Okay?
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