30 Useful Medical and Health Idioms in English

There are many idioms in English that native speakers use to describe health and illness ...


1. as fit as a fiddle – Be healthy and physically fit

2. black and blue – Bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed

3. clean bill of health – A report or certificate that a person or animal is healthy

4. flare up – Begin again suddenly (an illness or a disease)

5. go under the knife – Have an operation in surgery, often cosmetic surgery

6. splitting headache – A severe headache

7. alive and kicking – Be well and healthy

8. as pale as a ghost – Extremely pale

9. at death’s door – Very near death

10. bitter pill to swallow – An unpleasant fact that one must accept

11. break out in a cold sweat – Perspire from fever or anxiety

12. breathe one’s last – Die

13. bundle of nerves – A very nervous or anxious person

14. catch one’s death of cold – Become very ill

15. a dose of one’s own medicine – The same treatment that one gives to others

16. feel on top of the world - Feel very healthy

17. fill a prescription - Get some medicine from a pharmacy with the orders from the doctor

18. get a black eye - Get a bruise or darkened eye after being hit or after bumping into something

19. get sick - Become ill

20. green around the gills - Look sick

21. have a physical (examination) - Get a medical check-up

22. have foot-in-mouth disease - Embarrass oneself through a silly mistake

23. in the best of health - Very healthy

24. nothing but skin and bones - Be very thin or emaciated

25. nurse (someone) back to health - Give someone care to restore him or her to good health

26. on medication - Taking medicine for a current medical problem

27. on the mend - Becoming better, becoming well, healing

28. out of condition/ out of shape - Not in good physical condition

29. picture of health - A perfect example of health

30. refill a prescription - Sell a second set of medicine on a doctor's orders

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30 Useful Medical and Health Idioms in English

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