Vocabulary help (being unfit for work?)

i’ve got a question:

if i can’t work because i’m sick and i receive dole money - and i my doctor gave me a certificate that i won’t be able to work for the next couple of months. what would be a proper term for that?

being unfit for work ? and having a sick certificate?

that’s what my german english translator says, but many times, when i use that site, nobody ever heard of the word s it suggests

In Britain, it’s called “a sick note”.

In the US, it’s often officially called a “medical excuse note”, which also shows up in a few UK sources. In ordinary speech, Americans just call it a “doctor’s note” or “a note from the doctor”.

thank you

so i can i’ve a sick note/ doctor’s note and therefore i’m on sick leave?

Yes. You can also say you’re “off sick”.

By the way, if you call in sick and stay home someday, but you’re not really sick, that’s called a “mental health day”.


Are you serious, Jamie? :lol:

Yes, that’s what people have called it for many, many decades, as far as I know.

“I didn’t feel like dealing with my boss today, so I took a mental health day.”
“I took a mental health day, because I wasn’t prepared for the meeting.”
“It was the Tigers’ opening day, so a few of us took a mental health day and saw the game.”

Hi Jamie

I don’t recall having heard that expression before. Is it used strictly informally?

lol, I imagine how you use it formally :slight_smile: :
A report to the boss why I didn’t show up for work yesterday: Yesterday I didn’t feel like dealing with you, so I desided to take a mental health day :smiley:

It’s informal, of course. I know it’s been used since long before you would have moved to Germany.

Hey! My question was serious, Alex. :lol:

I mean, nowadays companies are using all sorts of “interesting” new expressions. What amazes me sometimes is how some of these business people can say some of the things they say with a straight face. :lol:

Sorry, I didn’t mean to make light of it… :oops: :wink:
I can’t help but wonder how versatile English slang is, even across one coutry.

Hi Alex

I’d have understood the meaning in context. It’s just that I don’t hear it used as any sort of ‘fixed’ expression around here.

There are local dialects in the US, but I’ve always had the distinct impression that the dialects that exist in the UK are more diverse and far more numerous (proportionately speaking).

Heck, in the US, even the people from Pittsburgh claim to have their own ‘dialect’. However, if you came to the US and spent 4 weeks in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), then 4 weeks in Hartford (Connecticut), I bet you’d have a hard time noticing any difference in the language at all. And those two cities are almost 500 miles apart!

mental health day sounds weird :slight_smile: but i like the idea. might that be the very same day, women can use if they have troubles due to their mens? a friend told me that there was the option to take a day off then in the states. i had troubles believing that though

There is no official day off for menstruation in any American workplace I’ve ever heard of. If a woman wants to take a day off for that, she has to take one of her regular sick days. I used to be cooperative when a coworker of mine took days off for that (after all, I’m not a woman, so how would I know?), until a girlfriend of mine who was a manager at another company barked, “I have a problem with women who take cramp days!”

Anyway, there’s no one official law for the whole country or for every workplace as to how many days people can take off for what.

One example:

And why would a girlfriend change your cooperative attitude?

Your attitude to mental health days depends on the maturity in the attitude of the people around you at work, much of the time.

laurieruettimann.com/2008/04/03/ … alth-days/

‘When you’re part of the modern workforce, a ‘mental health’ day is like every other day — it’s managed privately, without notice to the entire team, and is no big thang.’

My girlfriend and one of my sisters.

Your girlfriend was one of your sisters!?

Still, why did you let another person change your cooperative attitude?