Fit as a Fiddle

Meaning of Idiom ‘Fit as a Fiddle’

To be fit as a fiddle means to be in extremely good health. It may sometimes mean to have good physical conditioning or to be healthy and fit.

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“You’re 85 and fit as a fiddle,” said Ray to his grandfather. “What’s your secret?” “Whiskey!” replied Grandpa.

“The doctor told me I was fit as a fiddle but I’d better not start smoking again.”


In use since the early 1600’s, how this idiom came about has been lost to time. How being fit, healthy, etc. came to be associated with a fiddle is unknown.

One conjecture is that the idiom is an allusion to the fact that musical instruments such as the fiddle must be kept carefully maintained and kept in perfect working condition. A casual viewing of the well-worn and rosin-covered condition of many fiddles (violins played by fiddlers) may easily counter this notion.

Regardless, it probably survived due to its alliteration.

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