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Weather Idioms and Expressions in English


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Continuing our series on various idioms in English based on subjects, how about the weather?  Like it or not the weather impacts all of us.  So not surprisingly over the years, there have been many idioms and expressions in the English language that relate in some way to the weather.

Here are a few for starters:

"Under the weather"  -- You say you are "under the weather" if not feeling well or if feeling ill. 

"Make hay while the sun shines"  -- to be productive under favorable circumstances.

To be "on cloud nine" means to be very happy or excited.

To "throw caution to the wind" means to take risks or to act regardless of danger.

Please add to the list. :)

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Some additions:

Fair weather friend - the sort of friend who sticks by you only when things are going well.

Make heavy weather of something - take longer than is expected to do something.

Weather the storm - to get past difficulties against all odds.

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"The quiet (or the calm) before the storm", meaning a peaceful time before what is expected to be a time of trouble.

"Any port in a storm", meaning any solution will do in a time of distress.

"Chasing rainbows", when trying to obtain the unobtainable.

"Taking a raincheck", to postpone something

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I have come across various weather related idioms and below are few:

Come rain or shine - no matter what the weather/situation.

On cloud nine - extremely happy.

Rain on my parade meaning: if someone rains on your parade, they ruin your pleasure or plans.

Throw caution to the wind - forget all your commitments and do something crazy.

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"Raining cats and dogs" has always been the most amusing to me. Whenever I hear or read it, I always picture it literally and then proceed to wonder how the expression came about. Animals are definitely not the first thing I think of when it begins to rain, especially cats or dogs.

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"Raining cats and dogs" has always been the most amusing to me. Whenever I hear or read it, I always picture it literally and then proceed to wonder how the expression came about. Animals are definitely not the first thing I think of when it begins to rain, especially cats or dogs.

Haha, that's the one I immediately thought of. There are so many English sayings that are just ludicrous. It is kind of fun to say, however. More fun to say than, perhaps "its raining boulders and flakes".

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  • 1 month later...

Haha, that's the one I immediately thought of. There are so many English sayings that are just ludicrous. It is kind of fun to say, however. More fun to say than, perhaps "its raining boulders and flakes".

I agree! That was the one that came to my mind. Whenever it rained heavily, my teachers would say, "It's raining cats and dogs." It's pretty common.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here are a few more weather idioms:

- A storm in a teacup - a small matter that is blown up out of proportion

- To have a face like thunder - to look very angry

- It never rains but it pours - when all your problems are big ones

- To be snowed under - to have a lot of work to do

- A fair-weather friend - someone who is only your friend when it suits them

- To have your head in the clouds - to be a dreamer

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  • 1 month later...

Here's another idiom thread that I'd love to add a few that I can think of:

"Every cloud has a silver lining." -something terrible could have a positive aspect to it

If something has "seen better days" it is old and worn out.

Here in New England, we have an expression: "If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes." -because our weather changes so frequently.

"When it rains, it pours." -bad things keep happening

"Rise and shine!" can be a way to say "it is time to wake up."

A "Hail Storm" can mean a bombardment on a person or company

If a person's "mind is clouded" or their "judgement is clouded" or they have "brain-fog" then they are not thinking clearly.

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I used to be confused about this one  :grin:

Face like thunder - someone who is clearly very angry or upset about something.

And I LOVE this idiom  :love:

Shoot the breeze - chat in a relaxed way.

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  • 5 weeks later...

... "Taking a raincheck", to postpone something

I think when you "take a raincheck" you postpone something temporarily or decline an offer now but suggesting that you will take the offer next time or at a later time (like politely declining an offer).

:smile: Anyway, I can only think of only one weather idiom that has not been mentioned yet.

>> In a Fog -  refers to a person who is confused, dazed or unaware.

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- A storm in a teacup - a small matter that is blown up out of proportion

I'd never heard that one. When I think about it I picture a gigantic storm shrunk down to fit inside a tiny teacup. To me, that sounds more like a big matter made small and manageable, not the other way around.

But then again, since when have idioms always made perfect logical sense? For example "head over heels in love" always bothered me because our head is always over our heels.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Don't let the cat out of the bag."- Don't reveal the secret you heard.

"There's more than one way to skin a cat."- Honestly I can't wrap my head around this one, I believe it means there's more than one way to do something?

I'm not sure what's up with the obsession with animals that we have. The second quote also disturbed me the first time I heard it. Expressions are very strange.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bumping up this topic with some more weather idioms.  :grin:

  • Take by storm - To make a vivid impression.
  • Steal someone's thunder - To take credit or praise for something that you didn't do.
  • Right as rain - When everything is going right in your life.

:smile:

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From what I've heard as to the origins of the phrase "It's raining cats and dogs", they say it's storming/raining so hard that the wind and thunder sound like those two animals fighting.

As for the weather idiom, I think calling a person a bag of wind means that the person likes to talk a lot, but not so far as to actually do anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Come rain or shine- whatever the case may be.

Take a rain check- postpone something.

weather the storm- to survive a difficult situation.

Under the weather- not feeling very well.

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Reap the whirlwind/storm - preparing to face the impending consequences.

Loosing its heavy thunder - unleashing its full might or maximizing potential.  In short, don't hold back and give it all your best shot.  Don't settle for anything less.

Cold as ice - a person who is heartless and has no emotions.

These are some idioms I can think of at the moment.

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  • 1 year later...

"Lovely weather for ducks" refers to a particularly rainy day.  To "keep a weather eye" open or on something is to watch it very closely.  To "weather out" something is to endure it until it is over.  To "get wind of" something is to hear about something that is not knowledge to the general public.  Example:  I just got wind that they may be giving us a bonus for Christmas.

 

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