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How do you Cure the Hiccups?

burnt toastEveryone gets hiccups from time to time. Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. They are annoying because they are out of your control. Just when you think a bout of hiccups is gone, another one comes.

No one knows the exact cause of hiccups. These contractions often occur after people eat or drink too quickly. Perhaps the most annoying hiccup fit is the one the baby has in the womb. These hiccups prepare the mother-to-be for waking regularly in the night!

You probably know these common home remedies for hiccups:

  • Hold your breath
  • Get scared by someone
  • Drink water upside down
  • Breathe into a paper bag

Have you ever tried eating burnt toast very slowly to get rid of your hiccups? My daughter found this trick today by doing a search on the Internet. It worked like a charm on her little brother. He waited patiently for his charcoal toast. By the time the toast was ready his hiccups were gone. Sometimes, all you need to do is get your mind off the hiccups to make them go away!

Did you know?
The word hiccup is an example of onomatopoeia. It is a word that sounds like what it describes. “Zipper” and “beep” are other words that sound like their meaning.

Wordchecker:
involuntary: not controllable
annoying: unpleasant; bothersome
bout of …: a period of time when you have something
fit: a physical condition that occurs suddenly
home remedies: cures or solutions you can make at home
get rid of: to remove or dispose of
work like a charm: to work very well

What is your cure for the hiccups?

Note: “Hiccups” are sometimes spelled “hiccoughs”.

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub | November 2009
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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