IDIOMS: Under the weather

If someone feels under the weather, they feel ill or slightly unwell. The origin of this particular phrase might have something to do with sailing. In the 1900s, when a sailor was feeling sick on a boat during a storm or some other severe weather conditions, he was usually sent below deck so he could get away from being “under the harsh weather”. Feeling under the weather originally meant seasick.

Another explanation is that during those times, the number of sick sailors often exceeded the space in the log to list their names. When this happened, the excess names of the sick sailors were recorded in the column usually reserved for noting down the weather conditions. Hence “under the weather”.

Which version of the story you prefer more is totally up to you, we dig them both!

Examples of use in a sentence:

  • I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I decided to stay in bed.
  • After the vigorous exercise outside, he was feeling under the weather the next day.

Idioms with the same / similar meaning:

  • sick as a dog