AE 277 – Expression: Under The Weather

Learn Australian English in this episode of Aussie English where I teach you the expression to be or to feel UNDER THE WEATHER.

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 AE 277 – Expression: Under The Weather

G’day guys.

Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.

Today we’re going to go over the expression “under the weather”, “under the weather”.

So you can “be under the weather” or you can “feel under the weather”.

Today’s expression comes from Manuel who’s a Colombian.

So hey to everyone from Colombia, and thank you Manuel for suggesting the expression.

As usual, let’s go in and define the words that are used in this expression.

So, “to be”. I’m sure all of you know what the verb “to be” means. To have as some kind of condition.

So I am, you are, he is, she is, we are, they are, it is.

Or if they’re contracted, I’m, you’re, he’s, she’s, we’re, they’re, and it’s.

“To feel”, “to feel” has quite a few different meanings.

Firstly, it can mean to be aware of something through touching it or being touched.

So, you can feel the doorknob when you use your hand to open the door.

You could feel a bump on your head if you’ve hit your head, and then you’re using your hand to feel your head.

Secondly, it can mean to have a belief or an impression, so especially, without an identifiable reason.

So, “I feel that’s the wrong answer”. So this is where it can be used like, “I think it’s the wrong answer”.

Or “I feel I shouldn’t be here. Everyone staring at me. I feel they shouldn’t be here.”

That’s, again, “I think I shouldn’t be here. It looks like, it seems like, I shouldn’t be here.”

But in this sense, “to feel” is to experience an emotional sensation.

So, I feel unwell, I feel happy, I feel sick, or I feel under the weather.

“Under”, I’m sure you guys know what “under” is. “Under” is to be below something not on top of something.

“The cat sat under the table”. “I sleep under a blanket each night.”

And the last word, “the weather”, how the atmosphere is at a specific place or time regarding heat, wind, temperature, rain, sunshine, cloudiness, dryness, etc..

I’m sure you guys all know what “the weather” is, but in and of itself, it’s a difficult word to explain without using “weather”.

So, let’s go in and define the expression “to feel under the weather” or “to be under the weather”.

So, “to feel under the weather” is just to feel sick. And “to be under the weather” is just to be sick.

So, “under the weather” in these cases, “under the weather” is just literally a synonym for sick, ill, unwell, seasick, whatever it is.

If you’re feeling not good, you’re feeling like, you know, you’ve got a cold, the flu, maybe you’re going throw up, you’re under the weather.

You’re not well. You’re sick. You’re ill. So you can “be under the weather”, where, obviously, it’s something that you are.

It’s something… it’s the condition you have.

Or you can “feel under the weather” where it’s the way that you are experiencing a feeling.

You feel under the weather, you feel sick.

So, I went through and looked at the origin of this expression, as usual guys, and this was pretty interesting.

The expression apparently comes from a maritime source. So, sailing, using ships in the ocean.

Back in the day when a sailor was sick he was sent down below to help his recovery, under the deck, and out of the way of the weather.

And in the old days, “to be under the weather” or “to feel under the weather”, it would be said if you felt seasick or adversely affected by the weather itself.

And so originally though, this phrase was used if you had been sitting under the weather bow.

So the full phrase was “to feel under the weather bow” or “to be under the weather bow”.

And “to be under the weather bow” meant to be located on the side of the boat that had been hit by all the bad weather.

So, I imagine that all the wind is coming from one direction all the rain is coming from one direction.

If you’re sitting on the side of the boat that’s exposed to that weather then you are under the weather bow.

And that would be obviously the side of the boat where people would get seasick first or feel unwell first.

And so, that’s where this phrase apparently comes from, “to feel under the weather”, “to be under the weather”.

So as usual, let’s go through some examples guys.



So example number one, imagine that you call up work sick.

So, you tell work that you’re sick, because you went out the night before you went out partying with your mates and you hit the piss.

So, to hit the piss means to drink alcohol, to drink a lot.

So you pull a sicky, which means you call your boss and… who is at work, and you say, “oh sorry mate. I’m actually unwell. I’ve got the flu”, although in reality you’re not sick with the flu or the cold, you’re just hung over.

You’re not feeling well, because of all the alcohol that you drank. You’re feeling a little rotten.

So, you’ve got a headache.

Hopefully you didn’t get too sick that you had to throw up or vomit the night before.

And on a side note, we have a lot of different words in English for “(to) vomit”.

So, I thought I would teach some of these now.

Normal ways that are okay for all kinds of English are “to throw up”, “to vomit”, “to be sick”, “to heave” and “to regurgitate”.

This’ll be used in all forms of English.

But then Australia has some slang ways to talk about vomiting: “to vom”, “to chuck”, “to chunder”, “to hurl”, “to puke”, “to munt”, and I’ve even heard “to boot”.

So, I just thought that was a funny side note where I could teach you a few synonyms for “to vomit” guys.

So you’ve called up your boss. You’ve told him you’re sick even though you’re actually hung over.

You say to him, “hey mate, I’m feeling pretty average. I’m a bit under the weather. I’m going to take the day off. Is that OK?”.

Hopefully your boss is understanding, and he tells you that it’s OK to take the day off.

Maybe he says to you, “No worries mate. Go for it. See you tomorrow.”.

So you tell him, or you say to him, “I feel under the weather today. I’ll see you tomorrow.”.


Example number two. Imagine that you skipped school by pretending to be sick.

So you’re not actually sick this time. You’re not hung over.

You’re kid, you’re a teenager, and you wake up in the morning and you just decide for whatever reason, “I don’t want to go to school today. I’m going to tell my parents. I don’t feel well, and they’re going to give me the day off.”.

So, you convince your parents that you’re unwell, that you’ve got a temperature because you have a cold or something, you know.

You pretend to be sick. After your parents go to work and leave you at home your message your friends at school.

Maybe they’re still at school, and you tell them via text message that you scored the day off by pulling a sicky, and you said that you had felt under the weather to your parents.

So you could tease them with a message telling them that, “I told my folks I’m feeling under the weather today, and I scored the day off. I got the day off.”.

So, you tell your friends or you say to your friends, “I pulled a sicky and I got the day off school.”.


Example number three this time you are actually sick.

So, you’re not pretending to be well or ill or sick, but you actually are sick.

So you are not pulling in sicky this time to get off work or out of school.

This time you want to go to a film or an event or a party with friends, but because you’re sick, because you’ve got the flu, because you’ve got a cold, nothing too major, hopefully, but you’ve got a sore throat a cough, you know, a headache, as well as a temperature you aren’t able to go.

So, you’re feeling pretty crook, and you’re feeling a bit rotten, and you decide that instead of going out with your friends it’s probably better to hit the hay, to go to bed, at a reasonable hour.

So, to get some rest.

And you might tell them via a message or a phone call, you might call them up, and you might say to your friends, “hey guys I would have loved to have come tonight, but I’m feeling under the weather”.

Or you might just tell them in a message, “Hey guys. Sorry I can’t come home. I’m a bit under the weather today. I’m under the weather.”.

So, you say to your friends or you tell your friends that you are under the weather.

So as usual guys, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, and we’ll do this in the present continuous.

I am feeling, I am being, I am doing, etc..

So, listen and repeat after me and practice your pronunciation.

Listen and repeat:

Under the weather.
Under the weather.
Under the weather.
Under the weather.

I’m feeling under the weather.
You’re feeling under the weather.
He’s feeling under the weather.
She’s feeling under the weather.
We’re feeling under the weather.
They’re feeling under the weather.

Good job guys.

As something to point out here as usual for the pronunciation and connected speech part of these episodes.

I want you to focus on the fact that the words that end in “-er” in these sentences, we as Australians don’t pronounce the “-r”, at least in the examples in this sentence, we don’t pronounce the “-r”.

You’ll hear “undah” and “weathah”.

So, I’m going to do this exercise again and I’m going to say these sentences at native speed so that you can get an idea of how they’re connected, how I pronounce things, and just try and listen and repeat, and say them as I say them.

Let’s go.

Listen and repeat:

I’m feeling under the weather.
You’re feeling under the weather.
He’s feeling under the weather.
She’s feeling under the weather.
We’re feeling under the weather.
They’re feeling under the weather.

So there you go guys. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode.

Keep practicing. Keep learning Australian English. Keep working hard guys.

And don’t forget that you can always message me if you want to chat on Facebook.

And if you want to upgrade your learning and get all of the bonus exercises for today’s episode, which include practicing the words “tell” versus “say”, as well as the past tense in the grammar section, and the pronunciation of words ending in “-er” and how they connect to other words in the pronunciation section, then definitely check out the Aussie English Supporter Pack.

And I’m actually about to change the one dollar for one month to one dollar for one week.

So, if you want to try the Aussie English Supporter Pack for a month for just one dollar I suggest you sign up as soon as possible before I adjust the trial period.

So, thanks again for listening guys. I hope you’re getting a lot out of these episodes.

I hope it’s helping your English and I will see you soon.

All the best.

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