FILE - A pan sitting in the rain during a long rain delay sneezes before the begin of a baseball game between the Florida Marlins and brand-new York Mets at Citi Field, brand-new York, Monday, may 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)


And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA discovering English.

You are watching: What does feeling under the weather mean

On this program, we discover words and phrases in American English. Us teach you how to use them in various situations. And sometimes we define where this terms come from.

Today, we talk about feeling sick. We have actually all feel sick in ~ some point in our lives. And our problem can go from one excessive to the other. If ns am very sick, you could say ns am as sick as a dog. Various other times I might feel good enough to walk to work, but still no great.

When i feel tired, worn out or just a small sick, I have the right to say ns am feeling under the weather.

This is most likely the simplest, many common way to say, “I don’t feel well.” In fact, I might not think of an additional phrase the expresses the same an interpretation as well as “under the weather” does.

When you are under the weather, your condition is not serious. You perform not must be in a hospital or view a doctor.

Some word specialists say the “under the weather” also can average feeling drunk or having a hangover. You have too much alcohol to drink one night and also the following day, you feel sick.

However, I have actually never heard the idiom used this way. So, ns asked several aboriginal English speakers, and also not one stated they use “under the weather” to mean hungover or drunk. When I hear someone say they room under the weather, ns imagine they are not feeling well, however nothing else.

Use it anytime!

On this program, i hardly ever use the word “always,” yet it is always agree to usage this expression when speaking v others. Feel complimentary to tell her co-workers, your finest friend or also your 90-year-old grandmother that you space “under the weather.”

We will give more examples after we find out where this expression comes from. For this reason don’t walk away!


Now, poor weather can affect your health. For example, if I’m captured in a cold rainstorm because that several hours without ideal protection, I very possibly will get sick. But why do we say under the weather as soon as we’re sick? That just sounds strange.

To uncover out, i turned to a publication called Farmers’ Almanac. Farmers’ Almanac is no really intended for language learners. That was established in 1818 to help American farmer understand much more about the organic world approximately them together they grow and harvest their crops. That is quiet its purpose today.

The Farmer’s Almanac website tells around all things weather-related – from typical snowfall totals to phases that the moon come advice for fishing on a rainy day. So, if an idiom is weather-related, it most likely will be defined in the Farmer’s Almanac!

To explain, “under the weather,” the website released the creating of Richard Lederer, a native expert. Lederer notes the the expression “under the weather” comes from the language that sailors.


Imagine gift on a watercraft on rough seas. The tide continually pressure the boat up and also down and also side come side. This continuous movement deserve to make many human being feel seasick.

He writes the “on the high seas as soon as the wind would begin to blow hard and the waves became rough, crewmen and also travelers would certainly go listed below deck.” They actually went “under the weather” to find safety, shelter and to avoid ending up being seasick.

Years ago, only sailors described seasick sailors as gift “under the weather.” yet today, we use this expression anytime someone is no feeling well.

Now, permit me usage this expression in a couple of sentences.

I simply can’t go the end tonight. I am feeling under the weather. Yet thanks because that the invite.

After standing outside in the cold rain waiting to to buy concert tickets, the young woman awoke the next day emotion under the weather.

If you feel under the weather, you have to really go home and also rest.

And the is all the time we have this week for Words and also Their Stories! sign up with us again following time when we explore an additional word or expression in American English.

Until following time … ns Anna Matteo.

See more: What If Europe Never Colonized America, (War, Mexico)

Anna Matteo created this story because that VOA finding out English. George grow was the editor. The tune at the finish is KT Tunstall singing “Under the Weather.”


Words in This Story

drunk adj. a period of time once someone drink too much alcohol

hungover adj. disagreeable physical results following heavy intake of alcohol or the use of drugs

idiom n. an expression the cannot be interpreted from the interpretations of its separate words but that has actually a separate meaning of that is own

wave n. an area of moving water that is raised over the key surface of an ocean, a lake, etc

deck n. a flat surface that creates the main outside floor the a watercraft or ship

concert n. a public power (as the music or dancing)

ticket n. a piece of paper that enables you to view a show, participate in an event, take trip on a vehicle, etc.