Origin of Retch
From Middle English *recchen, *rechen, from Old English hrǣċan (“to clear the throat, hawk, spit"), from Proto-Germanic *hrÄ“kijanÄ… (“to clear one's throat"), from Proto-Indo-European *kreg- (“to caw, crow"). Cognate with Icelandic hrækja (“to hawk, spit").
Alteration of Middle English rechen from Old English hrǣcan to clear the throat, spit, bring up (phlegm)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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