Nauseated vs Nauseous

My mother, a stickler for all things correct, “gently” prodded me to understand the difference between two words that are used so incorrectly I just had to blog about them.  People, you are not nauseous (unless you are so disgusting that in fact, your person causes others to be sick); you are nauseated, you feel nauseated, you are overwhelmed with nausea.  It’s that easy.  Just stop being nauseous because well, you’re not.

Please start using these two words correctly.  You’re driving me insane.

See below if you need more help.  You’ll notice one is a verb and one is an adjective…and if you need help understanding the difference between those two, I give up.

nau·se·ate, nau·se·at·ed, nau·se·at·ing, nau·se·ates (intransitive & transitive verb)

1. To feel or cause to feel nausea.
2. To feel or cause to feel loathing or disgust.

nau·seous (adjective)

1. Causing nausea; sickening.

1 Comment

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One response to “Nauseated vs Nauseous

  1. Bob L

    Oxford English Dictionary:
    1) Inclined to nausea
    1604 R. Cadrey, Nauseous, disposed to vomit
    1651 French, It may be give to children or those that are of a nauseous stomach.
    1678 Ray: I have so veiled them, that I hope they will not turn the stomach of the most nauseous.

    It’s been around over 400 years. It predates “nauseated”. People are using the term in its original meaning. The supposed “distinction” between the words was invented out of whole cloth in the 1950s, along with the accusation that “nauseous” is incorrect. It is not, and never has been. People, please stop publicizing false grammatical advice.

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