Feeling Under the Weather? Have an idiom or two
What Are We Talking About?
Every language has its own way of doing things. Each people group has an idea, and a way to express them. Trying to guess what am idiom means is like guessing exactly what is in City Chicken. (Here’s a hint… it’s not chicken). So, just in time for the weekend, here are a handful of idioms for you to listen for in conversations. But before we learn about American Idioms, let’s take a look at what an idiom is.
Idioms are Everywhere
When you’re talking about language, you can’t beat around the bush. It’s a bit of a blessing in disguise actually. In the heat of the moment it’s hard to hit the nail on the head, but maybe we will be able to kill two birds with one stone…
if you are a native speaker, that made some amount of sense.
Or maybe you’re an ESL learner, I wouldn’t blame you for giving up halfway through that last bit.
Idioms exist in every language. They are a phrase that has a bit of history, and a common understanding in the culture. Consider the following:
Thai: ชาติหน้าตอนบ่าย ๆ
(One Afternoon in your next reincarnation)
Russian: (Когда рак на горе свистнет
(When a Lobster whistles on top of a mountain)
French: quand les poules auront des dents
(When hens have teeth)
If you’re not part of these cultures, you may not get what these phrases mean. It is possible to understand the meaning, but not the heartfelt mocking that is meant in these phrases. However, if you’re a native english speaker, you understand “When Hell Freezes Over” or “When pigs fly.”
It’s never going to happen…
Idioms express ideas from a commonly held view. Sometimes they come from a common job. Or maybe they come from a common belief. Some of them come from entertainment, and sometimes they come from unknown. Sometimes, like our first idiom, they come from the depths of the ocean…
How are you Feeling Under the Weather?
If there’s one thing all of humanity can talk about, it’s the weather. We discuss it with friends, family, and strangers at bus stations. It doesn’t have the risks of politics, or the emotional weight of relationships. It’s safe. But what about being under it? Aren’t we all “Under” the weather… all of the time?
As it turns out, we’re not. Being “under the weather” means you’re feeling nauseous, or just generally sick. The phrase comes from the sea. as people learned to travel great distances on boats. One possible explanation is that bad weather forced travelers under the deck. This kept them safe from waves, and reduced the effects of sea sickness. Therefore, people who were sick went “under the weather”.
Someone somewhere down there is seasick