Guest Author

English Vocabulary – Weather Idioms

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 11.09.45 AM
Photo by Lipton sale

Hoan-gêng kong-lîm!

(that’s “Welcome” in Taiwanese).

Today we will be learning some new idioms. Idioms are an essential part of the English language, so the more you learn, the more you will be able to fluently understand and converse.

Since we will be looking at idioms with the weather, let’s practice some vocabulary: what is the weather like in your country today?


Bolt from the blue – to do something or have something happen totally unexpectedly.

For example:
“The trip was cancelled without any warning; it was a bolt from the blue.”


Clouds on the horizon – trouble in the future.

For example: 
“They just got married and are very happy; right now there are no clouds on the horizon.”


On cloud nine – a person on cloud nine is very, very happy.

For example:
“Maria’s boyfriend proposed yesterday; today she is on cloud nine.”


In the dark – to not inform someone about something, to keep them in the dark.

For example: 
“They didn’t tell Sam he was going to be fired; he was very angry at being kept in the dark.”


Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.

Fair-weather friend – someone who is a friend when things are going well but not there when you are in trouble.

For example: 
“Julia is a fair weather friend–when I was going through my divorce she disappeared.”


Heavens open – when the heavens open, it means it is raining a lot.

For example: 
“In the morning the sky was blue, but then in the afternoon the heavens opened.”


Once in a blue moon – very rarely.

For example: 
“Once in a blue moon I have a glass of wine. It’s my treat.”


Come rain or shine – whatever happens.

For example: 
“We will meet for coffee tomorrow, come rain or shine”


Take a rain check – this means to cancel an invitation or offer for now, but might accept it later.

For example:
“Can I take a rain check on your invitation to have lunch? We can do it next week.”


Chasing rainbows – trying to get something impossible.

For example: 
“He’s trying to get a promotion too soon; in my opinion he’s chasing rainbows.”


Storm in a teacup – this means to get very excited or very angry about something unimportant.

For example: 
“They were arguing about who was going to go to the supermarket; it was a storm in a teacup”


Lull before the storm – a period of unnatural calm before a difficult time.

For example: 
“It’s quiet now, but it’s the lull before the storm: people will arrive tomorrow for the sales.”


Face like thunder – to look very angry.

For example:
“After the argument, her face looked like thunder”


Under the weather – to not feel very well.

For example: 
“I think I’m getting sick–I feel under the weather”


Get wind of – to hear of something secret.

For example:
“I got wind of Jenny’s surprise party; why did nobody invite me?”


Et voila! You have learnt a whole new set of English idioms. 🙂 



About the author: This post was written by Brandon, a teacher from ABA English. ABA English bases English language learning on short films about real life in Europe and the United States. Our course also contains 144 video classes on English grammar, which are available for free. Check out the ABA Teachers Blog for more tips on how to learn English every day.


More from Magoosh