【3分で使える英語表現】Playing Doctor 「 お医者さんごっこ」

【3分で使える英語表現】Playing Doctor 「 お医者さんごっこ」

Hello, this is Simon.

Life has been quite uneventful recently. Probably the biggest event for me recently was getting a flu shot with my daughter. I was quite worried because she hates the doctor’s as it is, let alone having to go for something scary and painful like an injection.

She has earned herself quite the reputation there, as she always makes a huge song and dance when we go. As soon as we get to the car park, she starts to cry. The ladies in the reception can hear us coming from a long way away and always chuckle among themselves. However, she was a lot better this time.

I think that since we got her a little doctor’s kit and she playing doctor, she has become more interested and less fearful of doctors. She has a little stethoscope which she uses to check my breathing and pulse. She checks everything with it, right down to a small nick I have on my hand.

Then gives me her prognosis「ああ、いたいなぁ」. She gets me to say “Ah.” using her tongue depressor check my throat, and prescribes me some pills and saying “take a medicine?“. There’s a little syringe that she uses to give me a jab. Also, a small dentist’s mirror with which she checks my mouth for cavities and general cleanliness. If I’m lucky, I’ll be told my mouth is, “So so clean.”, if not “So so dirty.” I’ve been getting nightly heath checks, and feel like I’m in good hands.

So, I think thanks to this, I didn’t have to drag her in to the clinic kicking and screaming. She was fine when we got to the car park, entered the clinic, and even when we finally entered the doctor’s office. Of course once she saw the injection it was different story. It took me plus two nurses to hold her, as well as the doctor to administer the injection: four people in total. But, it was over in a flash, and when she saw me getting injected next she calmed right down. She even said “Bye bye” to the doctor. Thanks to her little doctor’s kit, it was a surprisingly successful day.

Below are some words and expressions that that came up in writing above. They contain words and phrases that you may find useful.

“she hates …as it is”

I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase “as it is” meaning “the way it is”, such as in: “You don’t need to change anything. I like it as it is.” But, it can also be used to mean “already”. For example, a mother may say to her child, while out shopping, “I’m not buying you another thing. I’ve bought you enough as it is.” (I’ve already bought you enough.) Or, “She actually wasn’t looking forward to Tokyo Disneyland. She didn’t like crowds as it was. Not to mention it was the middle of summer.”

“let alone…”

This phrase is usually used after a negative statement to indicate that something is even more so or more impossible (e.g. Not many people have been struck by lightning twice, let alone lived to tell the tale./After the Christmas break, I couldn’t even squeeze into a large size pair of pants, let alone a medium.)

“She has earned herself quite the reputation”

If we become well known as being something or for doing something, the phrase “to have earned oneself quite a reputation” can be used for emphasis (e.g. He had earned himself quite a reputation as a motivational speaker.) The article “the” as used in my expression adds even more emphasis (quite the reputation).

“makes a huge song and dance”

To make a “song and dance” about something means to make an unnecessary fuss about that thing. It can be for both positive and negative things (e.g. Don’t tell anyone it’s my birthday. I don’t want them to make big song and dance about it./I just asked him to turn the volume down a little, and he made a huge song and dance about it.)

“right down to a small nick”

The phrase “right down to” means “even including” something small and unimportant. It is used to emphasize how much detail someone or something goes into, or how carefully something is done (e.g. The list was very comprehensive. It included everything right down to the salt and pepper we might need.) A “nick” is a very small cut.

“gives me her prognosis”

A “prognosis” is a doctor’s judgement of a medical condition. This can be things such as the cause of the condition as well as expected developments or chances of getting better (e.g. The doctor’s prognosis was diabetes/for a full recovery.)

“prescribes me some pills”

To “prescribe” means for a doctor to say what medical treatment is necessary (e.g. I was prescribed antibiotics for my infection.)

“give me a jab”

The general meaning of the noun “jab” is a quick hard push or hit, but it is also slang for an injection (e.g. I had to get a few jabs before going on the safari tour.)

“feel like I’m in good hands”

To me “in good hands” means to be managed or looked after with great care and attention (e.g. He has been treating this kind of problem for over 20 years. You’ll be in good hands./I really trust my child’s teacher. She’s in good hands this year.)

“drag her in kicking in screaming”

This is a hyperbolic expression. It is used when you take a course of action that someone is unwilling to participate in. It is used to emphasize that they don’t want to do it (e.g. You are going to go and apologize, even if I have to drag you there kicking and screaming.)

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas break and have an amazing New Year!

See you next 2021!

Best regards,


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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.