September 4th, 2019
This week's idiom is "As Fit as a Fiddle".
It is possible that after having your annual medical check-up with your doctor, he turns to you and says, "I have news for you. You are as fit as a fiddle!"
Is he giving you good news or bad news?
Scroll down for the answer.
It is good news! To be fit as a fiddle means to be very healthy.
Since the 19th century "fit" has meant healthy. However, when we researched the etymology of this idiom, we learned that "fit" did not always mean what it does today. Fit used to* mean "correctly done".
A "fiddle" is another word for a violin. Some etymologists believe that the word "fiddle" was used because violins are intricate instruments that require a great deal of skill to make, and so a fit fiddle would be a well-built instrument. Others believe that the words "fit fiddle" were chosen simply because they present a delightful example of alliteration.
We, of course, don't know. We do know, however, that if your doctor tells you that you are as fit as a fiddle, you can smile.
The NESE Grammar Team
*NESE, Level 3 Grammar & Idioms students, do you recognize this verb?
Someone who is "as fit as a fiddle" playing a fiddle.
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