Come down with flu vs. go down with flu


My feeling is when I want to say I have got a flu I would put it as ‘I have come down with flu’ and ‘go down with flu’ wouldn’t occur to me.

What is the picture of the latter and is there any difference in sense between the two?



Perhaps ‘come down with’ is more used when you talk about being ill with something yourself whereas ‘go down with’ would describe the same situation for somebody else.


In North America we would never say “go down with the flu” in reference to anyone. People here always “come down with the flu”. Additionally, “go down” is a tricky expression that can have a sexual meaning if you use it the wrong way, or with the wrong preposition.

As far as Canada goes, I would agree with Jamie. I have also lived in England and other places where English is commonly used and I don’t recall anyone ever using the expression 'go down with the ‘flu’, whether in refernce to themselves or others.

BTW… it’s a minor point but, since 'flu is short for influenza, most people say that an apostrophe should be used.


Surely that apostrophe went out with the ark as did the one with phone.


Hi Haihao

I don’t like the sound of ‘go down with the flu’ either. You could also just use ‘be’ after someone has already ‘come down with the flu’:
He is down with the flu.

Hi Pond969

Can I call you John? (I seem to recall that you signed a post that way somewhere).

I also remember the apostrophe with the word [i]flu[/i], but I don't think I've actually seen it used in quite a while. 

Hi Alan

I don’t remember ever having seen an apostrophe with the word phone. That one must predate me.

Speaking of phones, I’m starting to feel pretty dated. The other day a 12-year-old was mystified when I referred to the days when phones had dials… :shock: :lol:


About the only situation in which one might hear “go down with the flu” – and tense would be changed – would be if, for instance, a TV announcer is telling us the status of a football player:

“Lewis has gone down with the flu and will be on the sidelines today.”

or maybe

“Lewis IS down with the flu…” (different verb entirely, of course)

I agree.

Note that in Canada they still write Hallowe’en, while in the US it’s now Halloween.

One of my favorite Canadianisms is when some Canadian men refer to a urinal as a “washroom”. I said, “You’re IN the washroom! That’s a urinal,” but they insisted it’s correct in Canada to call the actual porcelain god a “washroom”. That’s one room I don’t plan to step into.