10 ENGLISH HEALTH IDIOMS
1. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – it is better to take good care of yourself to prevent illness than it is to get one and try to treat it, e.g. with medication
Example: I always tell my daughter to take vitamin C regularly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
2. cold hands, warm heart – people whose hands are usually cold have kind and loving personalities (since people who are ill often have cold hands too, it makes a nice addition to this idiom list :))
Example: Oh, Mary, your hands are cold. You know what they say, don’t you? Cold hands, warm heart.
3. feed a cold, starve a fever – eating more will cure the common cold, while not eating will cure a fever
Example: Eat something, John. Your grandmother always said that you should feed a cold, starve a fever.
4. hoarse voice – throat is sore and you cannot speak well due to illness, so you have a hoarse voice
Example: I could hardly understand Joanne on the phone. She had a hoarse voice.
5. splitting headache – an extremely bad or severe headache
Example: Could you please be quiet? I have a splitting headache.
6. to be as pale as a ghost / to be as white as snow – your skin or complexion is extremely white, you are either as pale as a ghost or as white as a ghost
Example: Marc was as pale as a ghost when I asked him about the missing keys to my car. He said that he was ill, but I didn’t believe him.
7. to be coming down with something – when someone starts a cold or flu, he is coming down with it
Example: I’m sorry. I can’t come to visit you today, because I fear that I am coming down with a cold.
8. to be fit as a horse / to be fit as a fiddle – to say that someone is very healthy
Example: I am not sick. In fact, I am as fit as a fiddle!
9. to be knocked out – to be extremely tired and/or unable to do anything
Example: I thought that I could return to work after a week, but this flu has really knocked me out.
10. to be sick as a dog – someone is extremely ill
Example: When Anne called me last night, I could hardly get of out bed to answer the telephone. I was as sick as a dog!