Sick and tired

I don’t know what this winter has been like for you, but from my vantage point it loosely resembles a tissue box. That’s right, just because it’s been nice and warm out doesn’t seem to mean I was safe from the winter cold season, the flu seems to be everywhere.

Here are some words and phrases having to do with illness that might help you explain to your English speaking co-workers why you’re so slow to respond to their e-mail:

  • Coming down with something: This means getting sick.
    I’m afraid I’m coming down with something and won’t be able to attend the meeting tonight.
  • Under the weather: This means, in a word, sick.
     Sorry for the slow response, I’m a bit under the weather this week.
  • Laid up : This means sick enough to be stuck in bed.
     I wasn’t able to answer all the e-mails piling up in my inbox since I was laid up with the flu all week.
  • Sick as a dog: This means REALLY sick.
     Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I have been sick as a dog for days.
  •  Clean bill of health: This means you’re no longer sick.
    I thought I would miss the wedding but the doctor gave me a clean bill of health before the weekend.
  • Ship shape:  This means feeling completely well, good as new.
    You’ll be in ship shape before you know it.
  • Right as rain: Just like ship shape and good as new.
    I went to bed with a burning fever and woke up right as rain.
  • God bless you: This is what you say when someone sneezes. You can shorten it to “bless you” if you’d rather avoid religion.
    But if you want to make sure your coworkers think you are polite, make sure you say it. Every time.
  • White as a sheet: This is how you can describe a coworker who looks sickly pale. Don’t say “white as a wall.”
    I knew she was coming down with something when she showed up to the meeting looking white as a sheet.
  • Catch your death: You might get sick.
    Put a coat on before you catch your death.
  • Runny nose: I’m not going to describe this one, you can figure it out on your own, but suffice it to say that this is runny nose and not running nose.
    When she showed up at work with watery eyes, a runny nose and rosy cheeks we were afraid she had the flu.
  • Burning up: To have a fever.
    You’re burning up. You should take something to bring that fever down.


So, I’m sorry the Tip Tippa has been sporadic lately, I have a cold that I can’ t seem to kick.  So I hope you’re not coming down with something, but if you’re under the weather, well, bless you.


About rachel karlin
I can't claim to be an English language expert, but making a lot of mistakes in Hebrew and hearing a lot of mistakes in English gets me thinking. And thinking in my world translates into writing, which in this case means sharing some of my ideas.

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