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Sickness Vocabulary

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You are more likely to get sick during winter, so here are some expressions that, unfortunately, you might find useful at this time of year:

Catch a cold / Pick up a cold

Catch means get, so catch a cold means get a cold. We can also say pick up a cold.

I caught a cold from my brother. I hope I don't give it to anyone.

I don't feel very well today, I think I have picked up a cold.

Come down with a cold

When we become sick we say have come down with a cold.

He won't be joining us today because he's come down with a cold.

I must be coming down with a cold, I can't stop sneezing.

Get over (something)

When we get over a cold or illness we recover and regain our health.

I can't seem to get over this cold, I've had it for nearly a week now.

On medication

When we have to take medicine for a medical problem, we say we are on medication.

He's been on medication for his bad stomach for a few weeks.

You shouldn't drink alcohol when you are on medication.

Under the weather

This idiom is used when we are not feeling well.

I'm feeling under the weather today, perhaps I should go home.

Sick as a dog

Feeling very, very sick.

I was sick as a dog all weekend, I just stayed in bed.

Like death warmed up

When you look sick or very tired, you look like death warmed up.

Why have you come to work today, you look like death warmed up? You should go straight home!

At death's door

When you feel or look very sick you are at death's door. It is often used as an exaggeration, you do not need to be dying to use it.

Poor James is at death's door, he's been sick all week.

Now complete these sentences with the correct form:

  • 1) I can't remember the last time I ___ a cold.




  • 2) I feel like I am ___ down with a cold. I hope I am wrong.




  • 3) It took me a week to ___ over that cold.




  • 4) She's ___ medication for her ear infection.





  • 5) Don't worry about me, I'm just feeling a little ___ the weather today.




  • 6) That seafood we had made me ___ as sick as a dog.




  • 7) Wow, you look like death ___ up!




  • 8) I was ___ death's door last week. I'm feeling much better this week.