Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーThe Dreaded Lurgy 「恐ろしい伝染病」

Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーThe Dreaded Lurgy 「恐ろしい伝染病」

Hello, this is Simon.


※Simon先生のシリーズ前回の記事「Simon先生の英語ブログで学ぶ使える英語表現ーHung Out to Dry「助けてもらえなかった」」を見逃した方はこちらからどうぞ!



Last month I caught the lurgy, but I may have actually unknowingly caught the flu.

It started with me catching a cold early on in February. It was only mild, and seemed to be in the mend, until I went out with some friends one night. I woke up the next morning with a very raspy throat which continued on for about three weeks. I felt like the cold had finished, and the sore throat was just a lingering effect. I think it was prolonged by my busy schedule with large classes of kids at that time.

Just as my throat finally seemed to have cleared, I woke up one morning and my eyes were filled with sleep. They were completely gummed up so that my eyelashes were glued together, and I couldn’t open my eyes. I rinsed them with warm water and the sleep finally dissolved. I was relieved, but when I looked in the mirror, I could see that my eyes were all bloodshot.

For two days my eyes stayed red and I was also very lethargic. My body felt like it was made of lead. My sore throat was gone, but it seemed to have moved on to my chest. I had a persistent cough and was also coughing up phlegm.

Fortunately, it only lasted for two days. However, just as I was starting to feel fine again, my daughter came down with the flu. She was diagnosed with Type A influenza, which we had all been vaccinated for. Fortunately, her symptoms were very mild. We took precautions not to catch it from her (which luckily no one did), and within a week we were all in the clear.

I couldn’t help but wonder though, did she catch the flu from outside, or did she catch it from me? Did I actually have a very mild form of the flu and pass it on to her? I guess I’ll never know.

Since I showed a variety of symptoms with this latest bout of illness. I thought it would be a good chance to introduce some new related words to you.



“the lurgy”

“The lurgy” is a very casual term for an unspecified illness that lingers, often with flu-like symptoms (e.g. Sorry I couldn’t make it to your event. I came down with the lurgy last week.) It is often jokingly referred to as “the dreaded lurgy”.

“my eyes were filled with sleep”

The noun “sleep” in this case means a yellow substance that we find in our eyes or eyelashes in the morning, after sleeping. In Japanese it is called 「目やに」(e.g. Recently, I have been waking up with sleep in my eyes, because of the pollen in the air.)

“gummed up”

The phrase to “gum up” something means to prevent it from opening, moving or flowing properly with some kind of blockage or sticky substance (e.g. This pipe is all gummed up with hair./The filter is all gummed up with a sticky black substance.)

“my eyelashes were glued together”

If things are “glued together”, they are held together with glue, or a substance that acts in a similar way to glue. In my case the sleep in my eyes had caused my eyelashes to become stuck together, just like if I had used glue.

“my eyes were all bloodshot”

The adjective “bloodshot” is used to describe our eyes when the become red or red in parts (e.g. The hay fever has given me a blocked nose, sore throat and bloodshot eyes.)

“moved on to my chest”

The phrase “move on” means leave one location and go to another. We often talk about colds or flus moving from nose to throat to chest as part of the natural progress. If something moves on to your chest, you can feel a change in that area such as coughing, wheezing etc.

“coughing up phlegm”

To “cough up” something means to cough and cause it to come up from your chest and into your mouth by coughing. “Phlegm” is a green or yellow substance that is formed in your nose or sinuses. In Japanese, it is called 「痰」.

It’s cherry blossom season! I hope you all are enjoying this lovely spring weather.

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.