30 Useful Health and Medicine Idioms in English

Learn useful Health and Medicine Idioms in English with meaning and examples.

List of Health and Medicine Idioms in English.

Alive And Kicking

  • Meaning: In good health despite health problems
  • Example: I had coronary bypass surgery last winter, but I’m alive and kicking!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

  • Meaning: Eating healthy foods will keep one from getting sick (and needing to see a doctor)
  • Example: Have an apple for a snack, instead of those chips. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, after all.

As fit as a fiddle

  • Meaning: To be healthy and physically fit
  • Example: My grandfather is ninety years old but he is as fit as a fiddle.

As pale as a ghost

  • Meaning: Extremely pale
  • Example: My grandfather was as pale as a ghost when he entered the hospital. 

As pale as death

  • Meaning: Extremely pale
  • Example: The woman in the hospital waiting room was as pale as death.

At death’s door

  • Meaning: Very near death
  • Example: The sales manager was at death’s door after his heart attack.

Back on one’s feet

  • Meaning: Physically healthy again
  • Example: My mother is back on her feet after being sick for two weeks.

Be on the Mend

  • Meaning: Be improving after an illness
  • Example: I was in the hospital for a week after I contracted malaria, but now I’m back home, and I’m on the mend.

Bitter pill to swallow

  • Meaning: An unpleasant fact that one must accept
  • Example: Losing the election was a bitter pill to swallow for the candidate.

Black-and-blue

  • Meaning: Bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed
  • Example: My arm was black-and-blue after falling down the stairs.

Break out in a cold sweat

  • Meaning: To perspire from fever or anxiety
  • Example: I usually break out in a cold sweat when I have to make a speech.

Catch one’s death of cold

  • Meaning: To become very ill (with a cold/flu etc.)
  • Example: The little boy was told to be careful in the rain or he would catch his death of cold.

Feel on top of the world

  • Meaning: To feel very healthy
  • Example: I have been feeling on top of the world since I quit my job.

Get a charley horse

  • Meaning: To develop a cramp in the arm or the leg
  • Example: The swimmer got a charley horse while he was swimming.

Go Under the Knife

  • Meaning: Undergo surgery
  • Example: I’m going under the knife next month to try to solve my knee problems. Hope it helps!

Go Viral

  • Meaning: Begin to spread rapidly on the Internet
  • Example: My friend’s satirical song about the Supreme Court decision has started to go viral.

Green around the gills

  • Meaning: To look sick
  • Example: My colleague was looking a little green around the gills when he came to work today.

Useful Health and Medicine Idioms in English

Health and Medicine Idioms

… Health and Medicine Idioms in English …

Have foot-in-mouth disease

  • Meaning: Tto embarrass oneself through a silly mistake
  • Example: The man has foot-in-mouth disease and is always saying stupid things.

Have one foot in the grave

  • Meaning: To be near death (usually because of old age or illness)
  • Example: My uncle is very sick and has one foot in the grave.

Just what the doctor ordered

  • Meaning: Exactly the thing that is or was needed to help improve something or make one feel better
  • Example: A short nap is just what the doctor ordered.

Kink in one’s neck

  • Meaning: A cramp in one’s neck that causes pain
  • Example: I woke up this morning with a kink in my neck.

Laughter is the best medicine

  • Meaning: Laughing a lot is a very effective means of recovering from physical or mental injury
  • Example: I think the best thing for you right now would be to spend some time with people you can joke around with. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

Poison pill (n)

  • Meaning: An element introduced into the restructuring of a corporation so that it becomes undesirable for another corporation to take over.
  • Example: Acme Corporation approved a poison pill to prevent a hostile takeover.

Run in the family

  • Meaning: To be a common family characteristic
  • Example: The serious illness runs in the family of my friend.

Sick and Tired of

  • Meaning: Extremely annoyed by something that occurs repeatedly
  • Example: I’m sick and tired of the way Neil always tries to get other people to do his work.

Sick as a Dog

  • Meaning: Extremely ill.
  • Example: Did you have a good vacation?” -””Not really. I was sick as a dog the whole time.”

Snake Oil

  • Meaning: Medicine of unproven value; fraudulent medicine
  • Example: The Internet is full of people who sell snake oil that won’t help you at all with your medical problems.

Take your medicine

  • Meaning: Accept something unpleasant, for example, punishment, without protesting or complaining
  • Example: He really hates shopping, but he goes anyway and takes his medicine like a man.

Taste of your own medicine

  • Meaning: The same unpleasant experience or treatment that one has given to others
  • Example: This team likes to play rough, so let’s go out there and give them a taste of their own medicine!

Under the weather

  • Meaning: Not feeling well
  • Example: My boss has been under the weather all week and has not come to work during that time.

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