In the UK, the first thing many of us do when we wake up is look out of the window to check the weather. In general, weather is one of the main topics of conversation and small talk fillers used throughout the country. We have major concerns for the weather as a nation and are obsessed with bringing up in conversation!

Every year, the 15th of July represents St Swithin’s (or Swithun’s) Day. Traditionally, in superstition, we watch the weather closer than normal on this day as it is believed that whatever the weather may be on this day, will continue for the next 40 days. So today, across most of the UK, we have blazing sunshine, so the nation has its fingers and toes crossed that this superstition will come alive and will continue for the next 40 days! How likely this is, well who knows!

To mark St Swithin’s Day I am going to explain the use of our most common idioms in English that refer to the weather.

Nice weather for ducks

We use this to make a point that the weather is bad for us, but good for something else, i.e. ducks.

To be under the weather

We use this to state that we aren’t feeling very well.

“I am feeling under the weather, I have the sniffles”.

Face like thunder

We use this to describe someone who appears to be angry.

“Someone has bumped into her car. She has a face like thunder”

Saving something for a rainy day

This can be used for anything from an activity to a DVD, but is mainly referred to about money. It means keeping something out of use for times when it will be needed more.

Child: Mum can we use up the cake mixture up. Mother: Not today sweetie, let’s save it for a rainy day.

It’s raining cats and dogs

This is again used to moan about the weather and is one of the most common weather expressions, referring to heavy rain.

“We won’t be out walking today, it’s raining cats and dogs”.

Come rain or shine

A slightly more positive expression, meaning that something will stay the same through good and bad.

“He will be my best friend come rain or shine”

Idioms in all languages can be very difficult to get your head around if they are not in your native language. That is why, at Lingua Translations, we only use translators who are native in the target language, to ensure they are fully immersed in the language and understand every aspect of the language they are translating into.

Happy St Swithin’s Day!!

Let’s hope we won’t be using any of these idioms for at least 40 days!