|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.
|black out||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.
|feel blue||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.
|off colour||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!
|pull through||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.
|run down||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.|
|spare tyre||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.