"Caught a cold" typically means that someone has become ill with a cold. This idiom describes contracting a viral infection that affects the nose and throat, leading to symptoms like sneezing, coughing, a sore throat, and a runny nose. Even though the word "caught" implies grabbing or obtaining, in this context, it indicates that someone has become infected with the cold virus. You may also use it metaphorically to signify encountering troubles or difficulties, particularly of a financial nature.
The term “caught a cold” means becoming sick with a cold. If someone says, "I've caught a cold," they mean they have the symptoms of the cold virus, such as coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose. The phrase indicates a sudden onset of illness and reminds us of the contagious nature of colds.
However, there's another, less obvious meaning to this phrase. Figuratively speaking, if someone has "caught a cold," they've run into trouble or difficulties, usually of a financial nature. This could refer to someone facing unexpected expenses, financial loss, or experiencing some other form of monetary trouble.
Let's explore its core meanings and usage:
The phrase "caught a cold" has its origins in the notion of "catching" or becoming infected with diseases. Historically, when diseases spread, people would say they "caught" the illness from someone else, emphasizing the transmissible nature of the condition. This became a common way to describe acquiring ailments like the cold and other troublesome scenarios.
"But farther, patients often conclude that they have caught a cold, from some unknown cause, judging merely from the effect."
- A Clinical History of the Acute Rheumatism, Or Rheumatick ..., 1813
To help you grasp when to use this phrase, let's look at some examples from different contexts:
The term sometimes appears in pop culture, mostly in contexts where characters are facing health issues.
Let's delve into a few instances:
There are several other expressions that convey a similar meaning to "caught a cold."
Here are some alternatives:
"Caught a cold" means someone has contracted a viral infection that affects the nose and throat, leading to symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose. When used metaphorically, it can mean encountering problems or difficulties, especially relating to financial matters.
You can use it to describe someone getting sick or having financial troubles. For example, "My first overseas experience was memorable, but I caught a cold halfway through." or "They told us to expect the unexpected, and we sure did when our investments caught a cold."
Not directly. While cold weather can make you more susceptible to illnesses by weakening your immune system or making you spend more time indoors with others who might be sick, the cold itself doesn’t cause the illness. It's caused by a virus.
Yes, frequent hand-washing, avoiding close contact with sick people, and keeping your immune system strong with a good diet, exercise, and enough sleep can help reduce your risk of catching a cold.
A common cold typically lasts about a week. However, if symptoms persist for more than 10 days, it might be a sign of a more serious illness and a doctor should be consulted.
There isn't a cure for the common cold, but rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications can help alleviate symptoms.
No, getting wet or being in the rain doesn't cause a cold. However, drastic temperature changes can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to catching viruses.
A cold is highly contagious, especially during the first 2-3 days of symptoms. It spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can also spread by touching surfaces that have the virus on them.
Yes, there are many different cold viruses, so it's possible to catch a cold multiple times. Moreover, immunity to a specific cold virus might decrease over time, so you can catch the same cold virus again in the future.
Yes, colds are more common in the fall and winter, but you can catch a cold any time of the year.
The idiom "caught a cold" refers to contracting the common cold, a viral illness marked by symptoms like a runny nose, coughing, and general discomfort. However, in a more figurative sense, it’s used to describe stumbling upon trouble, especially of a financial nature.
Here's a quick recap: