Top 10 Idioms Related to Health

At a time when health is the most pressing issue around the world and healthcare personnel like doctors, nurses and other paramedics are at the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s only natural to explore more content along health and wellness-related issues. As a student of the English language, you should keep learning how it evolves in different scenarios, and how topical issues give rise to new terms like ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’. As you consume more content online, you will also see some of these idioms being often used whenever the topic of health is discussed.

  1. Bitter pill to swallow

Meaning: An unpleasant fact that one must accept.

Usage: When John’s parents stopped giving him money to pay his bills and asked him to get a job, it was a bitter pill for him to swallow.

  1. Run in the family

Meaning: To be a common family characteristic/trait.

Usage: He was never going to live long because it runs in both (maternal and paternal) of his families.

  1. Under the weather

Meaning: Not feeling well.

Usage: We were out for celebrating Smith’s birthday, that’s why we’re all feeling under the weather till today.

  1. Have one foot in the grave

Meaning: To be on the verge of death.

Usage: I may be retired, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve got one foot in the grave, you know!

  1. Sick and tired of

Meaning: Extremely annoyed/exasperated by something that occurs repeatedly.

Usage: We mutually tried to resolve the issue, but to be honest I am sick and tired of the allegations.

  1. Go under the knife

Meaning: Undergo a surgery.

Usage: Oh this mark on my hand you’re talking about, this is since the day I went under the knife.

  1. At death’s door

Meaning: Very much near to death.

Usage: Corona virus has left everyone feel at death’s door and made them realise that nothing you have is permanent.

  1. A wake-up call

Meaning: An alarming situation.

Usage: His mother’s illness was a wake-up call for him to take responsibility for his own health.

  1. On its last legs

Meaning: to be near to the end.

Usage: A year ago he looked like he was on his last legs but the situation has clearly changed for the better.

  1. On the mend

Meaning: Healing or getting well/improving conditions.

Usage: He suffered a heart attack last week and thankfully he is on the mend.


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