Each month, Let’s Talk will focus on sayings that might sound funny or confusing to a new language learner. So if you have ever thought “What did they mean by that?” or “What are they trying to say?” this column is for you.

It seems like sickness and talk of sickness is all around us these days. The coronavirus is dominating news cycles and personal conversations. It is hard to feel calm with so much dire information everywhere, but calm, rational thinking will be our best defense against this disease. So stay calm and wash your hands.
Here are four idioms – expressions in which the meanings of the words are not the same as the meaning of the saying – which one might hear used in connection with sickness and health.

Sick as a dog — Very sick
“Isha was sent home from school because she was sick as a dog.”

Under the weather — Feeling slightly unwell
“Fernando postponed his plans with his friends because he was feeling under the weather.”

Fit as a fiddle — To be in good health
“Maria got her flu shot this year and she has felt fit as a fiddle throughout flu season.”

Sick and tired of —Extremely annoyed by something that occurs repeatedly
“Hanad is sick and tired of hearing his son’s excuses about why he isn’t doing his homework.”

If you have questions about sayings you have heard Americans use that you don’t understand, or if you have questions about American culture, please email your questions to Claudia at [email protected] and “Let’s Talk” will be happy to help.

Claudia Jakubowski has her Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).