Health Idioms – English vocabulary lesson with quiz
There are many English language health idioms.
Read the text below and look out for the health idioms in bold.
February 6th – Britain’s sick day
A recent study conducted in Britain has discovered that February 6th is the day when most Britons take the day off sick. Professor Cary Cooper, who carried out the research, said absence due to fake illnesses is becoming more common on this day. Apparently, in early February, “many people are still feeling the need to celebrate Christmas”. The study showed that over 50 percent of 4,000 interviewees took at least one fake sick day each year. There was great regional variation, with Londoners skipping work an average three days a year, compared to 13 for workers in the northern city of Liverpool. Most people phoning in sick pretended to cough or to have sore throats to add a touch of truth to their falsification.
Reasons varied for taking a sickie. There was widespread disappointment at the lack of official and national holidays, even though British workers are considered lucky, compared to other nationalities across the Atlantic. Other reasons cited included a need to recharge batteries, perhaps they were feeling a bit under the weather after the Christmas and New Year break. Some wanted a longer weekend break and needed time to recover from a hangover or catch up on sleep.
Many people also expressed that they refused to use up a day from their official yearly holidays because most British workers prefer to take a two-to-five week block off, rather than divide the days here and there. The good news for bosses is that the rate of workers lying to take a day off is decreasing.
However, there are genuine cases of real sicknesses that happen to fall on this day. Some workers admitted to having called in sick because they felt they were coming down with something, especially if there was a bug going round. In extreme cases, people felt like death warmed up and needed to recover fully before returning to work. If a hangover was the cause of their troubles, a good rest was said to have been one solution.
Whatever the genuine reason for absence is, employers hope that within a short period the absent workers will be on the road to recovery, feeling as right as rain and as fit as a fiddle to resume normal productivity.
Look at the English health idioms, in bold, in the text above and match them to their meanings.