Sunday, 23 June 2013


The other day I was watching 'Sarah and Duck' with Emily, my granddaughter. In case you didn't know, this is required viewing for one-year olds or aged grandfathers. 

Anyway, poor Sarah was ill in bed suffering from a cold and duck was doing his best to cheer her up. Sarah was described as being 'under the weather'. This is a well known and well used saying which I hadn't given much thought to before but once you stop to consider it, it seems an odd turn of phrase. 

Obviously it means to be feeling unwell but what has this got to do with the weather?

The answer it seems, is that the phrase has a nautical origin. In olden days when sailors were ill, they were sent below decks to recover and to be under (i.e. away from) the weather. 

It can also apply to passengers who feel sea-sick and need to go below decks to feel better. 

Presumably if they feel under the weather they go below until they feel over it.

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