Health Idioms & Phrasal Verbs. Part 2

Health Idioms & Phrasal Verbs. Part 2

A healthy outside starts from the inside.

Robert Urich, an American actor

As a follow-up to the hugely popular “Health Proverbs, Idioms and Phrasal Verbs”, we are posting this article. Learn more health-related vocabulary and practice it with the exercises in the Practice section.

Text 1:

I’ve always been trying to take good care of myself because I know such efforts would pay off in many ways. Still, in spite of all my running in the morning and avoiding heavy food at night, I felt as sick as a dog the other day. I woke up tired and pale as a ghost. I also seemed to have lost my sense of smell, which made me suspect I might have picked up the coronavirus, which I know still goes around. During the day I was green around the gills, I threw up, and yes, I tested positive for COVID-19. That was a month ago, and now I’m glad to say my body has fought off the infection and I feel on top of the world. I got all the necessary help at the local hospital, the doctors and nurses were true angels that got me back on my feet. It’s great to be alive and kicking!

  • to pay off – if your efforts pay off, you succeed
  • (as) sick as a dog – extremely ill
  • (as) pale as a ghost – exceptionally pale (related: “Similes”)
  • to go around/round/about – if something like a virus goes around, many people contract it (= catch it)
  • to pick something up – if you pick up a disease, you get ill
  • green around the gills /ɡɪlz/ – to look ill/pale
  • to throw up – to vomit
  • to fight something off – if your body fights off a disease, you recover
  • to feel on top of the world – to feel very good
  • to be back on one’s feet – to be healthy again
  • to be alive and kicking – to be healthy and active

Text 2:

Something unusual happened to me the other day. After feeling out of sorts for an hour or so, I blacked out. That was the first time for me to ever pass out. When I came to, I didn’t understand what had happened but I thought I had come down with some illness. Somehow, I started craving caramel ice cream and when I had it, it was just what the doctor ordered. Then it dawned on me – I could have been pregnant. So, I did the test and the result was positive. In spite of being a bit queasy, I felt on top of the world! Me and my husband would become parents! Gee, all of a sudden I was full of beans!

  • to be out of sorts – to be slightly ill
  • to black out / pass out – to suddenly become unconscious
  • to come to – to recover consciousness
  • to come down with something – to become ill with a particular disease
  • just what the doctor ordered – exactly what I wanted or needed
  • it dawned /dɔːnd/ on me – I realized it for the first time
  • queasy /ˈkwiːzi/ – feeling that you are going to throw up
  • to be full of beans – to be full of energy
Aren’t you full of beans?

Text 3:

Last month was a nightmare. I got in a car accident and had one foot in the grave. I was injured so badly almost no one believed I would make it. But somehow I pulled through. No wonder my friends have always said I’m a fighter and that runs in the family. Anyway, I did need to go under the knife more than once, but the doctors worked miracles on me, and even though my condition took a turn for the worse at one point, I didn’t keel over. Actually, I’m almost back to normal now. At least, I feel that way. You have to wish me good luck with the rest of my rehabilitation though. A bag of bones like me will sure need it.

  • to have one foot in the grave – to be very ill and likely to die soon
  • to make it – to not die as a result of an illness/accident
  • to pull through – to make it
  • to run in the family – if a particular quality/ability runs in the family, a lot of people in the family have it
  • to go under the knife – to have a medical operation
  • to work miracles – to achieve very impressive results
  • to take a turn for the worse – to become worse
  • to keel over – to die
  • bag of bones – a person who is extremely thin


Click the link here and complete the sentences.

Click here and find the pairs.

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