"Weather" idioms in English

We all know how much the British love to talk about the weather. According to sociological statistics, nine out of ten Britons discuss the weather throughout the day. Oscar Wilde believed that only those people who lack imagination to discuss other topics support the talk about the weather. And the writer Bill Bryson said that the most remarkable thing about these conversations is that there is nothing remarkable about them.

British weather and the British habit of constantly discussing it have always surprised foreigners.

Undoubtedly, such an interest in this topic could not but be reflected in the English language. That is why a considerable number of idioms are associated with the weather.

Before looking at them, let's remember what idioms are. Idioms, or phraseological units, are stable expressions, having heard which, do not try to translate them literally, unless only to cheer yourself up. Idioms should only be translated using a dictionary.

Now, let's move on to some of the commonly used English weather idioms.

  • to get the wind up - get scared;

They always get wind up when they see a dog.

  • to go down a storm - be successful;

The scientist went down a storm after discovering new medicines.

  • to be in a fog - to be confused;

He was in a fog when he knew that he had been fired.

  • to get wind of - find out;

If I had got wind of the sale on time, I would have bought that set with a low price.

  • on cloud nine - extremely happy;

When he made a proposal to Jane, she felt on cloud nine.

  • to break the ice - take the first step;

If you really want to marry her, you definitely need to break the ice.

  • lightning fast - very fast;

A new train has a very fast speed. It is really lightning fast.

  • to make hay while the sun shines - do smth in time until it’s not too late;

The chief is in a good mood. You need to make hay while the sun shines if you want to get a promotion. 

  • run hot and cold - rush from one extreme to another;

New films are running hot and cold. I can't choose which film to watch.

  • to be under a cloud of suspicion - be under suspicion;

After the robbery in the museum each employee was under a cloud of suspicion.

  • spring clean - overall cleaning;

We realized that only spring clean can save this old house.

  • to be under a cloud - to be in a difficult situation;

All staff will be under a cloud if the government decides to close the factory.

  • to save for a rainy day - to save money in case of some difficult situation;

He won a million, but he decided to save some money for a rainy day.

  • a fair-weather friend - not a loyal friend;

When I got into trouble, I asked my friend to help me, but unexpectedly he refused. I couldn't imagine that he was a fair-weather friend.

  • the tip of the iceberg -  surface part of the problem;

Science that we learned at school was just the tip of the iceberg. 

  • put on ice - put off until better times;

She had to put their meeting on ice because of the work difficulties.

Author: German Goryaynov

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