I have been ‘under the weather’ and ‘one degree under’

The lack of posting today is due to the fact that I have not been feeling well. It is nothing serious but it struck me that there few ways to describe how one feels when one does not have a full-blown flu or cough or cold but have just mild symptoms of one or more, which was my case. The word ‘blah’ is close in spirit but not very elegant.

The old-fashioned phrase ‘under the weather’ sort of captures the feeling but not quite since it can be used to denote having the flu as well. While thinking about this while trying to sleep, suddenly the phrase ‘one degree under’ popped into my mind. I think I heard it when I was a boy in England and it was used in TV ads to promote the use of ‘tonics’ which I think must have been some kind of energy drink to deal with this low feeling. These tonics were quite popular in those days but one does not see them advertised as much in the US. Maybe they are still popular in the UK.

‘One degree under’ captures the idea of not feeling quite normal but nothing serious. Maybe a scale could be developed of varying degrees under to signify the level of seriousness. One puzzle is why it is ‘under’ since mild flu symptoms would lead to a small rise in temperature. I don’t know if the phrase ‘one degree over’ could be made popular.


  1. Matt G says

    “Under the weather” is one of my favorites. For inebriated I love “three sheets to the wind”. Sadly I can never use it for myself because I usually stop at one beer.

    Feel better, Mano!

  2. robert79 says

    I suspect both “under the weather” and “one degree under” are both references to “catching a cold”, the idea that cold air or just plain undercooling could make one sick.

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