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One of the difficulties facing any learner of another language is to try to understand the nuance of words between languages. In English, 'to be sick' is used for both the state of being ill as well as a polite term for the act of vomiting. Does this nuance carry over to 病{や}む (even informally), or would 吐{は}く or げろげろ吐{は}く be the better option?

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病む doesn't mean / imply vomiting. It is a little literary and usually takes an object to show what is wrong.

精神を病む
結核{けっかく}を病んでいる

吐く is fine. げろげろ吐く sounds vivid, so you might want to avoid. Some people prefer 戻{もど}す because it sounds indirect.

  • I agree with Hideki when it comes to げろげろ吐く sounding quite vivid. For context, げろげろ is the sound of a frog going "ribbit", and is kind of illustrating the onomatopoeia of throwing up :p – Leila Oct 1 '15 at 1:20
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I usually use "病む” mainly for mental illness, like "精神を病んでいる、or 心を病んでいる。”  I've never used this word myself, meaning being sick, but in writing, maybe both physically and mentally we can use. Personally "吐く”is OK, but "げろげろ吐く” doesn't sound good. I'm not sure, but I can see this expression maybe in comic books, but not often in the conversation. People often say, "もどす”or "吐く”. or "たくさんもどした、or たくさん吐いた”。

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