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Your English: Idioms: in sickness and in health

Type: Article

Feeling a bit under the weather? Let Tim Bowen cheer you up with another great Your English article and you'll be feeling as fit as a fiddle in no time!

How are you feeling today? Perhaps you’re feeling a bit under the weather (not feeling well) or maybe you’re not quite yourself today or out of sorts (not in your normal mental or physical state). You might be looking a bit green around the gills (look ill),  coming down with something or sickening for something (about to get a less serious illness like a cold or flu), especially if there’s something going round (an illness like flu or a stomach upset that a lot of people are catching and giving to each other). In any event, you’re going to have to call in sick (phone someone at your workplace to tell them you are too ill to come to work) and take a sickie/sick day (stay at home away from work because you are ill). If you are ill, you may look as pale as a ghost/as pale as death or as white as a sheet. If you have an injury, you may be feeling (and look) black and blue and if you are really unwell, you may black or pass out (become unconscious for a short period). For another kind of illness, you may break out in something (spots or a rash, for instance) and this means the offending items cover the whole of your body. Hopefully, you won't take a turn for the worse (get worse) have to go into hospital and go under the knife (have an operation).

If you are genuinely ill (or have a hangover), you might feel a bit rough (not very well), or, in more serious cases, you might feel like death warmed up (feel absolutely awful). You may have a splitting headache (a very bad headache). If a hangover was the cause of your troubles, the hair of the dog (an alcoholic drink taken in the morning) could be one solution. It might make matters worse but it could be just what the doctor ordered (exactly what you need or want).

Whatever has happened, you will simply have to take your medicine (accept the situation without complaining). Within a short period you will probably be on the road to recovery (starting to feel better) and in no time at all you might be given a clean bill of health (told you are now healthy by your doctor) back on your feet (feeling better and active again) alive and kicking  (alive) feeling as right as rain (healthy again after an illness) and feel as fit as a fiddle  or as fit as a flea (in very good shape). Hopefully, the illness won't flare up again (return) and you'll remain looking the picture of health (looking healthy).

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