Saturday, February 23, 2013

Under the Weather, Again

Today is day 23 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Absurd". Visit Nicky's post to read stories from the other participants.

This is a repost from several years ago, and it seemed fitting for today.  You see I contracted yet another nasty bug, and am somewhat under the weather today, so the mere thought of manipulating words seems positively absurd.

Ever wonder where the expression "under the weather" came from?
With everyone waxing poetic about the beauty of fall, there is also a down side of this lovely season; it heralds the coming of the cold and flu season.  When we fall prey to these nasties, we tend to say that we are "under the weather".  Just this past weekend, I used that phrase myself and began to wonder of its origins.

The phrase "under the weather" dates back to the 1800s.  When sailors would become seasick, they would be sent below deck to get away from the weather, thus literally being "under the weather".  Author Donald Grant Mitchell was the first to use this phrase in his 1850 book Reveries of a Bachelor, and it has since been used for everything from being "ill" or "indisposed" to "financially embarrassed" or "drunk".

Some state that the correct term is "under the weather bow".  The weather bow is the side of the boat being hardest hit by the nasty weather.

Also there is the belief that the weather can affect one's health, so a sick person is deemed to be "under the weather".  From this theory, it stands to reason that the weather can also influence a person's mood, rendering them under the weather as well.  This is documented as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I touched on last fall in my post Just Another Monday.

We all know the steps to staying healthy during the cold and flu season, but here's a recap so we don't have say, "Sorry, I can't.  I'm under the weather."
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer when you can't wash.
  • Do not touch your face - nose, eyes, mouth - that is the germ's way into your system.
  • Keep your distance from those are already sick.
  • In turn, if you do get sick, stay home away from others.
  • And of course, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.

20 comments:

  1. Good advice. Hope you're not under the weather for very long.

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  2. Get well soon... we need you in at the finish of this absurd challenge!

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  3. Oh no, I hope you feel better soon!

    I remember pondering the very same expression once and you mentioned that you had written this... now I have my answer - thank you!

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  4. I can commiserate having a bug of sorts myself. I never knew the origins of that term.. thanks for that. I hope you're feeling your old self before too long.

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  5. Bummer that you're "under the weather," and you're right. It's absurd to force one's brain to function under that condition, so I'm glad you reposted this lovely piece and I'll send you good wishes for a speedy recovery, my friend.

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  6. I learned a thing or two from your post. I like when that happens unexpectedly.

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  7. I hope you feel better soon, Linda. And I kinda hope the weather gets better, too..

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  8. Hope that you feel better very soon!

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  9. Feel better Linda! And I had no idea about "under the weather bow"; thank you. Indigo

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  10. I swear I learn something new everytime I read one of your posts. I love to know the origin of words or phrases. I had no idea where the phrase "under the weather" came from. Now I do.

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  11. Sorry to hear you're under the weather, although I'm not surprised give the nature of this writing challenge. Please get better soon.

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  12. Hope you'll be up to snuff in no time. :)

    Thought I'd throw an idiom back at ya. :)

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  13. I never gave much thought to the origins of "under the weather". Thank you for teaching me something that I didn't realize I wanted to know. Also, please feel better soon.

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  14. Hope you are feeling better and back at it soon!

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  15. I tend to hibernate over the flu season. I've never had a flu shot and I just avoid going out of my house for 3 or 4 months until it passes. Oh wait. Maybe I do that year round.

    Feel better soon.

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  16. Awwwwwww. Hope you feel better soon!

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  17. Hope you are feeling 100 percent again, Linda!

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  18. Thanks for the get well wishes everyone. I'm feeling better now. It seems some pesky bugs get past all our efforts.

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  19. Since I read your posts in reverse, I hope this writing sees you feeling much better.

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Hi, thanks for visiting Roses to Rainbows. All comments are read and appreciated.

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