ICK – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Have your feelings changed towards your man? If you suddenly find them repulsive, you could say you have the ‘ick.’ This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression ‘ick’ means that you find another person despicable or repulsive. Typically, you’ll have a relationship with the person, and you get along well with them until they do something you find a turn-off.

For instance, you could be enjoying a date with a new guy but find him repulsive after seeing how he mistreats the waiter at the restaurant.

After you develop an ‘ick’ for someone, you’ll never look at them the same way, suddenly finding them repulsive. Some women may understand the trigger that causes the reaction. Others may not understand what it is about the person that turns them off.

The ‘ick’ is not a scientifically proven phenomenon. However, if a woman develops the ick for someone, there is no chance they will return to how they used to think of the person.

Example Usage

“I think I have the ick. I just can’t stand to look at John anymore after he did that to Sally. He’s not the person I thought he was, and I don’t want anything to do with him.”

“I don’t know why, but I don’t find Tim attractive anymore. It’s like everything he does repulses me. I think I caught the ick.”

“I can’t talk to Tom anymore. He repulses me. I feel like I want to throw up when I hear his voice. I think he gave me the ick.”

“I think I might have the ick. Everything went well with Mike until I saw him belittle that homeless person. Now I can’t stand the sight of him.”

“If you used to find someone attractive and now find them repulsive, you have the ick. What did they do to change your opinion about them?”

“This guy is giving me the ick. I thought he was cute on our first date, but I can’t be with this guy. He’s a toolbag.”

“I can’t stand it when men try to act like they are superior to women. It’s one of the things that gives me the ick, and I can’t stand these men that are so full of themselves.”


The expression ‘ick’ originates from the UK reality dating show ‘Love Island.’ The term appeared on the third season of the show in 2017. The contestant, Olivia, was paired with Sam. The couple seemed to hit it off on the first few dates. However, Olivia suddenly found him repulsive, and she couldn’t explain why choosing to use the ick to describe her feelings towards Sam.

Olivia explained her feelings as follows.

“When you’ve seen a boy and got the ick, it doesn’t go. It’s caught you, and it’s taken over your body. It’s just ick. I can’t shake it off.”

The term spread to social media on Twitter and TikTok, leading to a viral trend emerging defining 'ick' in memes.

Phrases Similar to Ick

  • Eww.

Phrases Opposite to Ick

  • Appealing.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Ick.

Ways People May Say Ick Incorrectly

The ‘ick’ is a feeling of repulsion towards another person. Using it to describe any other emotion or feeling is incorrect. It’s also used almost exclusively by straight women, describing men. Men and lesbians or bisexual women will rarely use the word.


Acceptable Ways to Phrase Ick

You can use the term ‘ick’ on social media platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. You’ll use the word when you want to describe an ‘icky’ feeling towards someone else, usually a man. The phrase is more commonly used by women and gay men to express repulsion toward someone else.

They may have previously liked the person. However, after learning more about them, they suddenly find the person repulsive. The ‘ick’ is a feeling that suddenly manifests after someone does something that turns you off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *