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A fictional illness that is said to be affecting police officers when many of them call in sick to disrupt operations, especially where striking is illegal. (The police often wear blue uniforms, hence "blue.") If that many guys called in sick today, I suspect there's a blue flu going around.
brown bottle flu
slang A hangover. I'm not surprised you have the brown bottle flu today—do you remember last night at the bar at all?
1. A feigned claim of ill health used as a means of avoiding or absenting oneself from a political engagement of some kind. The senator's conspicuous absence from the debate was put down to the sudden contraction of a virus, but it is likely just a diplomatic flu so that he will not be forced to address recent allegations of tax fraud.
2. By extension, any claim of ill health used as an excuse to avoid an unpleasant or undesirable situation. Frustrated by her dead-end job, Janet contracted a diplomatic flu to takes some time off and reexamine her priorities.
See also: flu
down with (an illness)
Sick with a particular illness, which is named after "with." I've been down with the flu all week and have barely gotten out of bed.
See also: down
struck down with (an illness)
1. Experiencing symptoms of a serious, severe, or otherwise incapacitating illness. Sara sounds really sick. I think she's been struck down by the flu. Being put on a ventilator is a terrifying reality for many people struck down with COVID-19.
2. Killed by such an illness. Back before vaccines, people used to be struck down with illnesses like measles and diphtheria all the time. Were people on the real Oregon Trail regularly struck down by cholera, or do we all just think that because it happened so often in the computer game?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. n. an imaginary disease afflicting police officers who call in sick during a work stoppage or slowdown. (Journalistic. Occurs where strikes are illegal.) Another epidemic of the blue flu struck the city’s police officers early today.
2. n. a hangover. He was out late last night and has the blue flu.
brown bottle flu
n. a hangover or sickness from drinking. (Probably from beer, which is often sold in brown bottles.) Wayne had a case of the brown bottle flu and didn’t make the meeting.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.