Weather is a universal topic of conversation that can be used to break the ice, start a discussion, or even complain about the daily forecast. In English, there are many idioms related to weather that are commonly used in everyday conversation. These idioms can be confusing for non-native speakers, but they add color and personality to the language.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common weather idioms in English. We will provide examples of how to use them in context, as well as their meanings and origins. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to use weather idioms in your conversations and impress your English-speaking friends. So, let’s jump into the world of weather idioms and see what we can learn!
Common Weather Idioms
Weather idioms are a fun and creative way to describe different situations in English. Here are some of the most common weather idioms that you might hear in everyday conversation.
Rain Related Idioms
Rain is a common topic of conversation in many parts of the world. Here are some idioms related to rain:
- “It’s raining cats and dogs” means that it’s raining very heavily.
- “To be under the weather” means to feel unwell or sick.
- “To save something for a rainy day” means to save something for a time when you might need it in the future.
Sun Related Idioms
The sun is often associated with happiness and warmth. Here are some idioms related to the sun:
- “To be on cloud nine” means to be extremely happy or joyful.
- “To bask in the sun” means to enjoy the warmth of the sun.
- “To have a sunny disposition” means to be cheerful and optimistic.
Wind Related Idioms
Wind can be both pleasant and unpleasant depending on the situation. Here are some idioms related to wind:
- “To get wind of something” means to hear about something, often through gossip or rumors.
- “To be in the eye of the storm” means to be in the middle of a difficult or dangerous situation.
- “To throw caution to the wind” means to take a risk without considering the consequences.
Cloud Related Idioms
Clouds can bring both rain and shade. Here are some idioms related to clouds:
- “Every cloud has a silver lining” means that even in a difficult situation, there is always something positive to be found.
- “To have your head in the clouds” means to be daydreaming or not paying attention.
- “To be on cloud nine” (mentioned earlier) can also mean to be extremely happy or joyful.
Snow Related Idioms
Snow is often associated with winter and cold weather. Here are some idioms related to snow:
- “To be snowed under” means to be overwhelmed with too much work or responsibility.
- “To break the ice” means to make a situation less tense or awkward.
- “To be as pure as the driven snow” means to be completely innocent and free from wrongdoing.
These are just a few of the many weather idioms that you might hear in English. Using these idioms can add color and creativity to your conversations.
Less Known Weather Idioms
We all know idioms like “it’s raining cats and dogs” or “the calm before the storm,” but there are many more weather idioms that are less known. Here are a few of them:
- Fair-weather friend: This idiom refers to someone who is only a friend when things are going well, but disappears when you need them the most. It comes from the idea that fair weather is pleasant and enjoyable, but when the weather turns bad, people tend to stay indoors and avoid going out.
- Snowball’s chance in hell: This idiom means that something has almost no chance of happening. It comes from the idea that a snowball would quickly melt in the heat of hell, so it has no chance of surviving.
- Rain on someone’s parade: This idiom means to spoil someone’s plans or happiness. It comes from the idea that rain can ruin an outdoor parade or event.
- Break the ice: This idiom means to make a start or to initiate a conversation. It comes from the idea that breaking the ice on a frozen lake or pond is necessary before you can go ice skating or fishing.
- Storm in a teacup: This idiom refers to a situation that is blown out of proportion and is not as serious as it seems. It comes from the idea that a storm in a teacup would be a small and insignificant event.
- Batten down the hatches: This idiom means to prepare for a difficult or dangerous situation. It comes from the idea that sailors would secure the hatches on a ship during a storm to prevent water from entering.
These less known weather idioms can add color and variety to your language. Try using them in conversation or in your writing to make your language more interesting and expressive.
Using Weather Idioms in Everyday Conversation
Weather idioms can be a great way to spice up your conversations and make them more interesting. In this section, we will explore how to use weather idioms in different settings.
In Professional Settings
Using weather idioms in professional settings can be tricky. While they can add a touch of personality to your conversation, they can also be seen as unprofessional if used inappropriately. Here are some tips on how to use weather idioms in professional settings:
- Use weather idioms sparingly and only when appropriate.
- Avoid using weather idioms in formal documents or presentations.
- Make sure the person you are speaking with is familiar with the idiom before using it.
- Use weather idioms in a way that is relevant to the conversation.
In Informal Settings
Using weather idioms in informal settings can be a lot of fun. They can help you express yourself in a more creative and interesting way. Here are some tips on how to use weather idioms in informal settings:
- Use weather idioms to add humor or personality to your conversation.
- Don’t be afraid to use weather idioms in casual conversations with friends and family.
- Use weather idioms that are appropriate for the situation.
- Be careful not to overuse weather idioms, as this can become tiresome.
Overall, weather idioms can be a great way to add personality and creativity to your conversations. Just be sure to use them appropriately and in a way that is relevant to the conversation.
Interpreting Weather Idioms
Weather idioms are a fun and interesting way to add some color to your conversations in English. However, interpreting these idioms can be a bit tricky if you are not familiar with their meanings. In this section, we will explore some common weather idioms and their interpretations.
Under the weather
When someone says they are feeling “under the weather,” they mean that they are feeling unwell or sick. This idiom originated from the nautical phrase “under the weather bow,” which referred to the side of a ship that was being hit by bad weather.
Weather the storm
To “weather the storm” means to survive a difficult or challenging situation. This idiom comes from the idea of a ship being able to withstand a storm at sea.
Break the ice
The idiom “break the ice” means to make a start on a conversation or to make a situation less awkward. This phrase comes from the idea of breaking the ice on a frozen body of water to allow boats to pass through.
It’s raining cats and dogs
When it’s raining heavily, English speakers might say “it’s raining cats and dogs.” This idiom has uncertain origins, but one theory suggests that it comes from the idea of cats and dogs being washed out of thatched roofs during heavy rain.
A ray of sunshine
When someone is described as a “ray of sunshine,” it means that they bring joy and happiness to others. This idiom comes from the idea of sunshine being a symbol of positivity and warmth.
Every cloud has a silver lining
To say that “every cloud has a silver lining” means that even in difficult situations, there is always something positive to be found. This idiom comes from the idea that silver linings can be seen around clouds during a sunrise or sunset.
By understanding weather idioms, you can add some fun and flair to your conversations in English.
Common Weather Idioms with Meanings and Examples
Raining Cats and Dogs
- Meaning: Raining very hard
- Example: Wow! Look outside. It’s raining cats and dogs.
(To be) Full of Hot Air
- Meaning: A person who talks a lot and says things that aren’t completely true
- Example: He’s always talking about how he is going to find gold in the river. I don’t believe him. I think he’s full of hot air.
When It Rains It Pours
- Meaning: Nothing happens and then everything happens
- Example: Nobody ever visits my house and then 10 people come. When it rains, it pours.
Sunny (as an adjective)
- Meaning: Happy or pleasant
- Example: The new office girl has a very sunny personality.
- Meaning: Easy
- Example: That test was a breeze.
Under The Weather
- Meaning: Feeling bad
- Example: Joan felt under the weather after she failed her history exam.
- Meaning: A wonderful place or feeling
- Example: After I got my dream job I was on cloud nine.
Weather The Storm
- Meaning: Survive during difficult times
- Example: Even though my father lost his job, we were able to weather the storm. Now everything is better.
- Meaning: Completely mistaken
- Example: If you think I’m going to climb that rickety ladder, you’re all wet!
As Right As Rain
- Meaning: To feel fine and healthy.
- Example: Don’t worry about me, I’m as right as rain after my knee operation.
- Meaning: A person who is only your friend during good times or when things are going well for you but disappears when things become difficult or you have problems.
- Example: She was a fair-weather friend because she wasn’t interested in me once I had lost my job.
Weather Idioms | Infographic
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common English idioms related to weather?
English has many idioms related to weather. Some of the most common ones include “under the weather”, “rain cats and dogs”, “weather the storm”, “break the ice”, and “on cloud nine”.
What are some idioms to describe bad weather?
When it comes to bad weather, English has many idioms to describe it. Some of the most common ones include “pouring rain”, “dark clouds on the horizon”, “raining cats and dogs”, “in the eye of the storm”, and “snowed under”.
What are some idioms to describe good weather?
Idioms to describe good weather are also very common in English. Some of the most popular ones include “a ray of sunshine”, “fair-weather friend”, “blue skies ahead”, “a breath of fresh air”, and “sunny side up”.
What are some sunny weather idioms?
Sunny weather idioms are a great way to describe a beautiful day. Some popular ones include “bright and sunny”, “basking in the sun”, “the sun is shining down on us”, “sun-kissed skin”, and “a sun-drenched day”.
What are some idioms for rainy weather?
Rainy weather idioms are also very common in English. Some of the most popular ones include “raining cats and dogs”, “in the eye of the storm”, “to be soaked to the bone”, “under the weather”, and “a rain shower”.
What is an idiom for severe weather?
When it comes to severe weather, English has many idioms to describe it. Some of the most common ones include “in the eye of the storm”, “weather the storm”, “a perfect storm”, “a force of nature”, and “a tempest in a teapot”.