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London Weather and English Weather Idioms

sunIt has taken me a long time to write this blog article… because I’m too hot! Yes, that’s right, I’m in LONDON and I’m TOO HOT! Can you believe it? According to Met Office Weather, it is 30 degrees in London right now – the hottest day of the year so far!

Of course, everyone in the UK will be complaining about the heat today – we complain when it’s cold and when it’s hot, we complain if we have a bad summer and if we have a hot summer! Well, you know, English people just love talking about the weather.

Although many people complain, having sun in London is great. Have you noticed that people seem much happier in general? The parks are full of people sunbathing and having fun, and everyone seems to have a smile on their face.


Bloomsbury International students enjoying the sunshine in London

Unfortunately, the forecast for the weekend isn’t looking good – we will have lots of rain and some thunder storms. However, next week should be much better again with temperatures around 27 degrees (that’s no excuse for you to miss your English language classes though!).

As the weather is such a popular topic of conversation in the UK, it is not surprising that there are many English idioms and expressions relating to rain, storms, snow, thunder, clouds and more. Below are a few of the most common weather idioms with their meanings and examples of how to use them in a sentence:

Under the weather

To feel ill/unwell.

 “Hi John, it’s Simon. Sorry but I can’t come to work today – I’m a bit under the weather.”

rainingcatsanddogsRaining cats and dogs

Raining very heavily.

“I think we should cancel the picnic – it’s raining cats and dogs and doesn’t look like it will stop soon.”

Take a rain check

If you ‘take a rain check’, you cannot accept an invitation now but you would like to at a later date.

“Do you mind if I take a rain check on dinner next week? Tom is taking me on a surprise trip.”

Rain on your parade

To do something that ruins someone’s plans.

“I’m sorry to rain on your parade but you’re not allowed to take photos in here.”

rainydayRainy day

To save something (usually money) for a time in the future when you might need it unexpectedly.

“It cost me a thousand pounds to fix the car but luckily I had some money saved for a rainy day.”

It never rains but it pours (or when it rains, it pours)

When one bad thing happens, a lot of other bad things happen at the same time.

“My car wouldn’t start this morning, then the trains were all delayed, then I realised I’d left my wallet at home, then I found out I didn’t get the promotion at work. It never rains but it pours!”

Come rain or shine

You will do something no matter what happens.

“Don’t worry, come rain or shine I will make sure I’m there on Saturday.”

rainbowChase rainbows

To try to do something that is not possible.

“He wants to be a famous singer but I think he’s chasing rainbows – his voice is awful!”

Steal someone’s thunder

To do what someone else was going to do before they do it, especially if it takes praise or recognition away from them. It can also mean to take someone’s ideas and use them for your own advantage or to take credit for someone else’s work.

 “I think you should stop telling Jane your ideas. I just heard her speaking to the boss and she was telling him the idea you told us yesterday. She always steals your thunder!”

Storm in a teacup

A situation or problem that is made to seem much worse than it actually is.

“They had a big argument yesterday about where to go this weekend but it was just a storm in a teacup.”storm

Calm before the storm

A quiet time before a period of great activity, difficulty or arguments.

“Everyone is arriving in an hour so I’m reading my book and enjoying the calm before the storm.”

Snowed under

To have so many things to do (usually work) that you have problems dealing with all of it.

“Sorry but I can’t come over for dinner tonight, I’m completely snowed under at work.”

cloudnineOn cloud nine

To be extremely happy, feeling like you’re floating on air.

 “He was on cloud nine for months after he won the lottery.”

Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine!!


Have fun with English

Complete the sentences below with the correct weather idiom.

1. “I can’t believe Sarah just _____  __  _______! I just announced that I passed my exam and Sarah came in and told everyone she was pregnant!”

2. “Tony and Michelle just got engaged and they’re both __  _____  ____.”

3. “I’ve been feeling a little _____  ___  _______ today. I had to wait outside in the rain for 2 hours last night and I think I may have caught a cold.”

4. “Can we ____  _  ____  _____ on the cinema? I’m completely ______  _____ and can’t leave work at the moment.”

5. “I know that Monday is a very important day for you. ____  ____  __  _____ I will be there!”

Last week’s answers


1. What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs? A clock

2. What type of cheese is made backwards? Edam (spell ‘made’ backwards)

3. Which letter of the alphabet has the most water? The C

4. What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it? A teapot

5. Which month has 28 days? All of them!!

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