|in bad shape
||A person who is in bad shape is in poor physical condition.
I really am in bad shape. I must do more exercise.
|back on your feet
||If you are back on your feet, after an illness or an accident, you are physically healthy again.
My grandmother had a bad ‘flu but she’s back on her feet again.
|back into shape
||To get yourself back into shape, you need to take some exercise in order to become fit and healthy again.
Eva decided she’d have to get back into shape before looking for a job.
|bag of bones
||To say that someone is a bag of bones means that they are extremely thin.
When he came home from the war he was a bag of bones.
|full of beans
||A person who is full of beans is lively, active and healthy.
He may be getting old but he’s still full of beans.
||If you black out, you lose consciousness.
When Tony saw the needle, he blacked out.
|blind as a bat
||Someone whose vision is very poor, or who is unable to see anything, is (as) blind as a bat.
Without his glasses, the old man is as blind as a bat.
|blue around the gills
(also: green or pale)
|If a person looks blue around gills, they look unwell or sick.
You should sit down. You look a bit blue around the gills.
||To feel blue means to have feelings of deep sadness or depression.
I’m going to see my grandmother. She’s feeling a bit blue at the moment.
|kick the bucket
||To kick the bucket is a lighthearted way of talking about death.
He will inherit when his grandfather kicks the bucket.
|cast iron stomach
||If you can eat all sorts of food and drink what you like, without any indigestion, discomfort or bad effects, it is said that you have a cast-iron stomach.
I don’t know how you can eat that spicy food. You must have a cast-iron stomach.
|clean bill of health
||If a person has a clean bill of health, they have a report or certificate declaring that their health is satisfactory.
All candidates for the position must produce a clean bill of health.
||If you are off colour, you look or feel ill.
What’s the matter with Tom? He looks a bit off colour today.
|dead as a doornail
||This expression is used to stress that a person is very definitely dead.
At the end of the winter they found the old man as dead as a doornail.
|(like) death warmed up
||If you look like death warmed up, you look very ill or tired.
My boss told me to go home. He said I looked like death warmed up.
|die with one’s boots on
||A person who dies with their boots on dies while still leading an active life.
He says he’ll never retire. He’d rather die with his boots on!
|dogs are barking
||When a person says that their dogs are barking they mean that their feet are hurting.
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.
There’s a ‘flu epidemic right now. Senior citizens are dropping like flies.
|hit the dust
||The expression hit the dust is a humorous way of referring to death.
You can have my computer when I hit the dust!
|fit as a fiddle
|| A person who is as fit as a fiddle is in an excellent state of health or physical condition.
My grandfather is nearly ninety but he’s as fit as a fiddle.
|frog in one’s throat
||A person who has a frog in their throat has difficulty in speaking clearly because they have a cough or a sore throat.
Teaching was difficult today. I had a frog in my throat all morning.
|hair of the dog that bit you
||Using as a remedy a small amount of what made you ill, for example a drop of alcohol when recovering from drinking too much, is called ‘a hair of the dog that bit you’.
Here, have a drop of this. It’s a hair of the dog that bit you!
|hale and hearty
||Someone, especially an old person, who is hale and hearty is in excellent health.
My grandmother is still hale and hearty in spite of her age.
|have a hangover
||To have a hangover means to suffer from the unpleasant after-effects of drinking too much alcohol.
Many young people have a hangover after a party or celebration.
|hard of hearing
||If someone is hard of hearing, they 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.
He was unemployed and homeless, but somehow he managed to keep body and soul together.
|land of the living
||This is a humorous way of saying that someone is still alive.
Hi there! Glad to see you’re still in the land of the living!
|on one’s last legs
||If you are on your last legs, you are in a very weak condition or about to die.
I was so sick that I felt as though I was on my last legs!
|living on borrowed time
||This expression refers to a period of time after an illness or accident which could have caused death.
After heart surgery, many patients feel that they’re living on borrowed time.
|look the picture of health
||To look the picture of health means to look extremely healthy.
Nice to see you again Mr. Brown. I must say you look the picture of health.
|meet your maker
||This expression is used to say (often humorously) that someone has died.
Poor old Mr. Potter has gone to meet his maker.
|on the mend
||If someone or something is on the mend, they are improving after an illness or a difficult period.
My mother caught the ‘flu but she’s on the mend now.
|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.
Moving closer to his children has given him a new lease of life.
|go under the knife
||If a person goes under the knife, they have surgery.
I’m not worried about the anaesthetic. I’ve been under the knife several times.
|one foot in the grave
||A person who is either very old or very ill and close to death has onefoot in the grave.
It’s no use talking to the owner. The poor man has one foot in the grave.
|one’s number is up
||To say that one’s number is up means that either a person is in serious difficulty or the time has come when they will die.
His health is declining rapidly so it looks as if his number is up!
|out of sorts
||If someone is out of sorts, they are upset and irritable or not feeling well.
The baby is out of sorts today. Perhaps he’s cutting a tooth.
|have pins and needles
||To have pins and needles is to have a tingling sensation in a part of the body, for example an arm or a leg, when it has been in the same position for a long time.
I lay curled up for so long that I had pins and needles in my legs.
|in the pink of health
||If you are in the pink of health, you are in excellent physical condition.
Caroline looks in the pink of health after her holiday.
|pop one’s clogs
||This is a euphemistic way of saying that a person is dead.
Nobody lives in that house since old Roger popped his clogs.
|prime of one’s life
||The prime of one’s life is the time in a person’s life when they are
in their best physical condition.
At the age of 75, the singer is not exactly in the prime of his life!
||If you pull through, you recover from a serious illness.
Doris had to undergo heart surgery but she pulled through.
|pushing up the daisies
||To say that someone is pushing up the daisies means that they are dead.
Old Johnny Barnes? He’s been pushing up the daisies for over 10 years!
|racked with pain
||When someone is suffering from severe pain, they are racked with pain.
The soldier was so badly injured that he was racked with pain.
|ready to drop
||Someone who is ready to drop is nearly too exhausted to stay standing.
I’ve been shopping all day with Judy. I’m ready to drop!
|recharge one’s batteries
||When you recharge your batteries, you take a break from a tiring or stressful activity in order to relax and recover your energy.
Sam is completely overworked. He needs a holiday to recharge his batteries.
|right as rain
||If someone is (as) right as rain, they are in excellent health or condition.
I called to see my grandmother thinking she was ill, but she was right as rain.
||A person who is run down is in poor physical condition.
She’s completely run down from lack of proper food..
|spart part surgery
||Spare-part surgery refers to surgery in which a diseased or non-functioning organ is replaced with a transplanted or artificial organ.
||If a person has a spare tyre, they have a roll of flesh around the waist.
I’d better go on a diet – I’m getting a spare syte!
|take a turn for the worse
||If a person who is ill takes a turn for the worse, their illness becomes more serious.
We hoped he would recover but he took a turn for the worse during the night.
| touch and go
||If something is touch-and-go, the outcome or result is uncertain.
Dave’s life is out of danger now, but it was touch-and-go after the operation.
|under the weather
||If you are under the weather, you are not feeling very well.
You look a bit under the weather. What’s the matter?
|up and about
||If someone is up and about, they are out of bed or have recovered after an illness.
She was kept in hospital for a week but she’s up and about again.
|vim and vigour
||If you are full of vim and vigour, you have lots of vitality, energy and enthusiasm.
After a relaxing holiday, my parents came back full of vim and vigour.