Elle a bon pied bon oeil.
ay lah baw pee-yay buh NUH-yuh. Click below to hear this.
She’s fit as a fiddle.
What does a fiddle have to do to be fit? It probably doesn’t belong in the gym, hoisting weights, though its player might benefit from such exercise. Have you seen how much energy a violinist uses, and how long they have to hold that thing up for?
Fortunately, we don’t have to solve these mysteries. Fit as a fiddle doesn’t apply to fiddles. It applies to people. Literally, it means She has good foot good eye, suggesting that a healthy person has good balance and good eyesight.
It’s not a recital of the specific medical condition of an individual, though. I would probably still say this about my mother, even though she uses a walker or an electric cart if she has to walk far (so much for bon pied).
On the other hand, her eyesight is great, she has all her own teeth (she’s proud of that one), her memory is very good, and her sense of humor is intact. She cooks, she plans, she sews, she writes emails, looks things up on Google, and is my most faithful reader. And, as her grandfather used to say, she is “in her 96th year.” If that’s not Elle a bon pied bon oeil, I don’t know what is.