What Does A Cast Iron Stomach Mean?

Cast Iron Stomach Meaning

Definition: To have a strong stomach and rarely or never feel nauseated.   

Origin of Cast Iron Stomach

This expression became popular around the early 1900s. Cast iron is a type of metal that is commonly used in cooking.

Cast iron pans are known to be tough and resilient pans. If a person’s stomach were really made of cast iron, it would be very strong and almost indestructible.

Examples of Cast Iron Stomach

Define cast iron stomach In the below example, a doctor and her patient are talking about a recent medical problem the patient developed.

Doctor: So what seems to be the problem?

Patient: Well, it’s my stomach. My whole life I’ve had a cast iron stomach. I could eat anything, and I would never feel sick. It didn’t matter what I drank either. Now, all of a sudden, I feel sick every time I eat ice cream.

Doctor: Do you feel sick when you drink milk or eat cheese?

Patient: A little.

Doctor: You might have developed an intolerance to lactose, which is in dairy products. I’m going to give you some pills. Take one of these before eating dairy, and your stomach should be back to its regular cast iron state again in no time.

Patient: Thank you!

What is a cast iron stomachThe next example involves an English professor and his student. The student brought a snack to share with the class.

Professor: Oh, what’s that? Did you bring food?

Student: Yes, a lot of the other students have brought food from their home countries, so I thought I’d bring something as well.

Professor: Excellent! What is it?

Student: I brought fried crickets!

Professor: Oh…

Student: Would you like some before the other students arrive?

Professor: Thanks, but, to be honest, I’ve never really had a cast iron stomach. I’m worried my stomach would get upset if I tried them.

Student: That’s okay. I understand this snack isn’t appealing to everyone.

More Examples

The below excerpt contains tips on how what to do and what to avoid when you travel.

  • Also, it’s NOT OK to chow down on those tasty-looking munchies sold by street vendors (even if you think you have a cast-iron stomach). –Huffington Post

This is an excerpt about very polluted water. It describes how Olympic swimmers are likely to get sick if they swim in it.   

  • Best not to touch, smell or swallow. If you’re an Olympic sailor, best not to capsize. If you’re an Olympic open-water swimmer, best to have a cast-iron stomach.  Guanabara Bay is spectacularly challenging and notoriously polluted. –Miami Herald


A cast iron stomach describes the stomach of a person who can eat or drink almost anything without getting sick.