Idioms Relating To Health

by Prashant Kumar Sharma

  • In bad shape: A person who is in bad shape is in poor physical condition.
    Example: “I really am in bad shape.  I need to get some exercise.”
  • Get yourself back into shape: To get yourself back into shape, you need to take exercise
    in order to become fit and healthy again.
    Example: “Se decided she’d have to get back into shape before looking
    for a new job.”
  • Black out: If you black out, you lose consciousness.
    Example: “When Tony saw the needle, he blacked out.”
  • As blind as a bat
    Someone whose vision is very poor, or who is unable to see
    anything, is (as) blind as a bat.
    Example: “Without his glasses the old man is as blind as a bat.”
  • Feel blue To feel blue means to have feelings of deep sadness or depression.
    Example: “My old neighbour has been feeling blue since her dog died.”
  • kick the bucket To kick the bucket is a light-hearted way of talking about death.
    Example: “He will inherit when his grandfather kicks the bucket.”
  • Die with one’s boots on A person who dies with their boots on dies while still leading an
    active life.
    Example: “He says he’ll never retire.   He’d rather die with his boots on!”  
  • My dogs are barking
    When a person says that their dogs are barking they mean that
    their feet are hurting.
    Example: “I’ve been shopping all day.  My dogs are barking.”
  • Drop like flies If people drop like flies, they fall ill or die in large numbers.
    Example: “There’s an epidemic of flu at the moment.  Senior citizens are dropping
    like flies.”
  • Hit the dust The expression hit the dust is a humorous way of referring to death.
    Example: “You can have my computer when I hit the dust!””
  • Back on one’s feet If you are back on your feet, after an illness or an accident,
    you are physically healthy again.
  • Hale and hearty Someone, especially an old person,  who is hale and hearty is in
    excellent health
    Example: “My grandmother is still hale and hearty at the age of ninety.”
  • Have a hangover To have a hangover means to suffer from the unpleasant after-effects
    of drinking too much alcohol.
  • Hard of hearing If you are hard of hearing, you can’t hear very well. “You’ll have
    to speak louder to Mr. Jones.  He’s a bit hard of hearing.”
  • Keep body and soul together
    If someone is able to keep body and soul together, they manage
    to survive.
    Example: “He was unemployed and homeless, but he somehow managed to
    keep body  and soul together.”
  • New lease of life A person who has a new lease of life has a chance to live longer
    or with greater enjoyment or satisfaction.
    Example: “Moving closer to his children has given him a new lease of life.”
  • Go nuts To say that a person has gone nuts means that they have become
    foolish, eccentric or mad.
  • Go under the knife If a person goes Under the knife, they have surgery.
    Example:  “I’m not worried about the anaesthetic.  I’ve been under the knife
    several times.”
  • Off colour If you are off colour, you look or feel ill.
    Example: “What’s the matter with you Tom?  You look a bit off colour today.”
  • One’s number is up To say that one’s number is up means that a person is either in
    serious difficulty and something bad is going to happen, or the time
    has come when they will die.
    Example: “When he had a second heart attack, we thought his number was up!”
  • In the pink of health If you are in the pink of health, you are in excellent physical
    condition or extremely healthy.
    Example: “Caroline looked in the pink of health after her holiday.”
  • Pull through If you pull through, you recover from a serious illness.
    Example: “My grandmother got pneumonia but she pulled through.”
  • Pushing up the daisies If you say of someone that they are pushing up the daisies,
    you mean that they are dead.
    Example: “Old Johnny Barnes? He’s been pushing up the daisies for over
    10 years!”
  • Run down A person who is run down is in poor physical condition.
    “He’s completely run down from lack of proper food.”
  • Under the weather If you are under the weather, you are not feeling very well.
    Example: “I’m not going to the party.  I’m a bit under the weather today.”
  • Up and about If someone is up and about, they are out of bed or have recovered
    after an illness.
    Example: “She was kept in hospital for a week but she’s up and about again.”

Article by Prashant Kumar Sharma


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