You Got Under My Skin

Here’s another strange idiom in English: You (or someone/something) got under my skin.

There are two ways we use this idiom.

The first way is to indicate that someone or thing is irritating you, bothering you, doing something that you think is annoying.

“My roommate likes to listen to music early in the morning. I’m trying not to let it get under my skin.”

“Don’t let your boss’s criticism get under your skin.”

It is also possible to say, “You get under my skin,” as in “You get under my skin every time you slam the door (close it loudly and with force)!”

Or you could even say, “Your constant tapping (making a small noise with your finger or pen) is getting under my skin. Please stop!”

A second way we use this idiom is when someone is on your mind all the time. You think about them constantly, and they affect you a lot emotionally, usually in a good way. This often happens slowly and perhaps unexpectedly.

“Tomas and Julia never wanted to have children of their own. But after spending a lot of time around kids, the idea got under their skin and they changed their minds.”

“The new woman in his department at work really got under his skin. He couldn’t stop thinking about her.”

It’s this second way of using this idiom that Frank Sinatra sings about in the famous old song, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

This song was written in 1936. Later, in the 1940s and 1960s, Frank Sinatra sang and recorded it and it became one of his most famous songs.

The first verse (group of lines) are:

I’ve got you under my skin
I have got you, deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me
I’ve got you under my skin

Maybe this blog post has got under your skin, but only you know if it’s in a good way or a bad one.

~ Jeff

P.S. That’s me in the photo. You’re not actually seeing under my skin, but rather a thermal image showing temperature (hot and cold) taken at the California Science Center. Pretty scary, I know.

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