English Weather Expressions That Are Not About the Weather

By now, you have probably learned a lot of English weather vocabulary, such as “rain,” “wind,” “snow,” and so on.

However, you may have also noticed that native English speakers sometimes use these words when they’re not talking about the weather!

To help you follow the conversation, this post will go over the most common weather expressions that aren’t about the weather.

English expressions related to wind

Get wind of (v.)

If you “get wind of” something, you “find out about (something that is supposed to be a secret).” For example, if you are planning a surprise birthday party for someone, you probably don’t want them to “get wind of” your plans. 

Here are some more examples:

I wonder how mom got wind of our plan to sneak out tonight.
If the boss gets wind of this mistake, we’ll be fired.

Native English speakers usually use “get wind of” a clue or a small part of the information or plan, which allows them to then find out the rest of it. This comes from hunting, when an animal, such as a hunting dog, might smell, or "get wind of" another animal, and then be able to follow or find it.

You’ll also hear people say “catch wind of.”

A breeze (n.)

“A breeze” is an informal expression you can use when you want to say that something is very easy for you.

If you’re a professional chef, making dinner for your family must be a breeze.
Max thought that starting his own business would be a breeze, but it wasn’t.

Why is “breeze” used this way? It comes from the expression "to breeze through" something. You can think of it like this: The original meaning of “breeze” is “a light, gentle wind,” so if you're able to "breeze through" something, you can do it without much effort or difficulty. So if something is a "breeze" - it's easy!

Here are some examples of the original expression.

Taylor breezed through her final exams.
The team breezed into first place.

English expressions related to rain

Rainy day (n.)

A “rainy day” is a time in the future when you may need money.

Why do you save so much of your salary every month? Are you planning on buying a house or something?
Not really. I’m just scared that something will happen and I won’t have the money to pay for it. I guess I’m just saving for a rainy day

Why is “rainy day” used this way? If you think of sunny days as periods of time when your life is going well, then rainy days are like periods of time when your life does not go as smoothly as you’d like. 

Rain on someone’s parade (v.)

Imagine that a parade is happening in your city and it suddenly starts to rain very hard. The parade will need to be canceled.

Since the rain ruined the event and everyone’s mood, native English speakers use the expression “rain on (someone’s) parade” to describe an action that stops other people from enjoying something or going ahead with their plans.

Here are some examples.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but the car broke down, so the road trip is cancelled.
Don’t let him get to you. He’s just raining on your parade because he’s jealous of your success.

English expressions related to storms

Storm (v.)

Because storms involve heavy rain and strong winds, the word “storm” is often used to talk about strong emotions, especially anger. 

One of the most common ways it’s used is in the phrase “storm off.” If someone storms off, they leave some place very angrily.

Dave stormed off when he found that he would be kicked out of the company he had started himself.

You can also “storm (a place)” or “storm into or out of (some place).”

Alice’s parents stormed into the principal’s office after learning she was expelled from school.

When a lot of people attack a place or enter it by force, you can say they “stormed” the place.

Protesters stormed the office of the Prime Minister.

Steal (someone’s) thunder

If you “steal someone’s thunder,” you take people’s attention away from them.

She showed up at the wedding in an eye-catching dress, stealing the bride’s thunder.
Whenever we want to announce a new product, our competitor steals our thunder by making an announcement first.

Why is “thunder” used like this? It actually comes from the world of theater. In 1704, a playwright, John Dennis came up with a new way of making the sound of thunder for his play. However, his play was unsuccessful and closed early, but his method of making thunder was used in a new play shortly afterwards. In response to this, some say he said "Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder!"

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