On The Mend Then Off Again 「 快方に向くようでまたぶり返し」

On The Mend Then Off Again

Hello, this is Simon.

In the last week or so before Christmas, my daughter got sick, and ended up being “off for 6 days”. It started with a high fever of over 39 degrees for the first couple, but then on the weekend, she seemed to be “on the mend”. Her temperature had stabilized at around 37 .5 degrees and she was getting her appetite back.

However come Monday, on the way to daycare she “threw up” in the car, and so we turned around went back home. Her “temperature then skyrocketed” to over 40 degrees. She wouldn’t touch her food, which was the biggest worry because she usually has “a bonny appetite”. We had been given medicine to help with her symptoms. But, it was in powdered form, so we had been mixing it into yogurt or jelly, which had fooled her for the first few days, and then she started refusing it. I think she had “cottoned on” and “gotten wise” to the fact that we’d been tampering with her food. This was a problem because if she wouldn’t take her medicine, it would take a long time for her to get well.

We took her to the doctor again, and he gave us some liquid medicine, which we could put into her juice. That seemed to work. She started taking her medicine, and slowly improved over the next few days. After about four days, she was “back to her old self” which was a relief because, “she had not been herself” for quite some time.

Now, you would never know she had ever been sick. She is “full of beans”, and will be hitting Christmas and the New Year “with bells on”.

December is a busy time of year for everybody. There so many things that we have to do before the end of the year. It was right in the middle of this busy time that my daughter got sick. I guess you could say it was the main even of the month for me, so I decided to write about it. Below are some phrases that I have highlighted. They are a little random, but they are all commonly used.

“off for six days”

The adverb “off” in this case means to be absent from school or work (e.g. A: Where’s Tom? B: He’s off today. / I was off work for a week with the flu.)

“on the mend”

The phrase to be “on the mend” means improving in health or condition; recovering (e.g. He’s been sick with a heavy cold, but he’s on the mend now.)

“threw up”

To “throw up” is an informal way to say “vomit”. It can act in the same way as both a transitive verb (e.g. He suddenly went quiet, and then threw up his breakfast.) and an intransitive verb (e.g. I spent the whole night throwing up.)

“temperature skyrocketed”

I’m sure you are familiar with the noun “skyrocket”, but it can also be a verb which means to rise extremely quickly or make extremely quick progress towards success. It is often used to talk about things related to finance (e.g. Interest rates have skyrocketed in the last couple of months.)

“a bonny appetite”

This expression is more used in the UK, with the adjective “bonny” originating in Scotland. It means both “beautiful” and “healthy”. If you wanted to use a more standard wording then “a healthy appetite” could be used.

“cottoned on”

To “cotton on” to something means to begin to understand a situation or fact (e.g. I’d only just cottoned on to the fact that they were having a relationship.)

“gotten wise to”

To “get wise to” something means to find out about it, especially when someone has been trying to keep it secret (e.g. I think the police are getting wise to us! / I didn’t take her a long time to get wise to the fact that Santa didn’t actually exist.)

“back to her old self”

To “be back to one’s old self” means to return or change back to the way a person truly or usually is (e.g. One minute he seems truly sorry for what he did, and the next he is back to his old self. / It was good to see that he over the depression, and getting back to his old self again.)

“she had not been herself”

To “not be oneself“ means to not feel in your usual physical or mental state (e.g. I’m not myself this morning. / He hasn’t been himself recently. He’s been late almost every day this week.)

“full of beans”

To be “full of beans” means to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm (e.g. She is the life of the party, because she is always full of beans. / I can be with him for long periods of time because he is too full of beans.)

“with bells on”

To do something or go somewhere “with bells on” means to do it or go there eagerly
(e.g. A: Are you coming to the party tonight? B: Sure, I’ll be there – with bells on.)


These phrases can be used in a variety of situations. If you get the chance, please try some of them out.

I hope this was helpful.


See you next month!

フルーツフルイングリッシュで英語表現の楽しさ感じてください 。初めての方には英作文添削チケット2回分をプレゼント。




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Hello! My name is Simon. I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999. My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.