top of page

Idiom: Rude Health

Definition and history of the term "rude health"

“You appear to be in rude health today.”

This phrase has been around a long time, well before the Georgian era. In fact, the 15th century seems to be among its first appearances. It’s still commonly used today, mostly in the UK.

The origins of the phrase are much rumoured, but the consensus seems to be that it originated from the Old Norse and Old French definitions of the word “rude” and words of similar spelling and sound, such as “red” and “ruddy”: vigorous, strong, hearty, robust.

To say someone is in rude health is a compliment—“You’re looking fit and healthy” essentially.

bottom of page