God's Word for Today

Friday, January 6, 2012

Word Junkie: Under The Weather

We all use them. The common place expressions and phrases! I found a really great website that has the origins to all of those phrases we say and where the origins of the expressions came from.

I find it fascinating to find out just where certain expressions come from.

Having just dealt with a sick grandbaby and having a slight tinge of her tummy bug myself I was thinking about the expression Under the Weather. Thankfully I only felt a little under the weather and did not experience the unsetting side effects that Muffinhead did in the back of my van. I did however feel not exactly well later that evening and the next day I was feeling a bit icky! No matter how hard you try to clean things up it is nearly impossible to be completely thorough especially when you are have unpleasant substances all over your hands…..but thankfully my sufferings were minor compared to Muffinhead’s!

Here is what I found!

Copied from The Phrase Finder

“What is the origin of the phrase, "I'm feeling under the weather" to imply that one is feeling sick?

UNDER THE WEATHER - "Ik Marvel, a pseudonym that resulted from a misprinting of J.K. Marvel, was the pen name of American author Donald Grant Mitchell. In his 'Reveries of a Bachelor' Ik Marvel is the first to record 'under the weather,' which has been a synonym for everything from 'ill and indisposed' to 'financially embarrassed' and 'drunk,' and has even been a synonym for 'the discomfort accompanying menstruation." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

To be under the weather is to be unwell. This comes again from a maritime source. In the old days, when a sailor was unwell, he was sent down below to help his recovery, under the deck and away from the weather.

You're right, that explanation sounds better. Here's a similar one I found: "Under the weather. To feel ill. Originally it meant to feel seasick or to be adversely affected by bad weather. The term is correctly 'under the weather bow' which is a gloomy prospect; the weather bow is the side upon which all the rotten weather is blowing." From "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983).”

Here is the link to Phrase Finder!

I love it for looking up all this things we say and really have no idea where they came from.




Sassy Granny ... said...

I have that same curiosity! Often I go in search of word meanings & origins; or historical backgrounds & geography. I LOVE the internet for that reason. There's so many great resources, and I'm delighted you shared this one.

Hope you're "over the weather" soon.


Kim said...

I used to have a book with that kind of info...but it got lost somewhere along the way. Glad to see you can find it online now! Thanks for the fun info :)

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