Idioms can be confusing for non-native speakers.
Someone might say to you that you look a bit under the weather. Or perhaps you’ve heard someone say they were snowed under. What did they mean?
Well, they definitely weren’t speaking about the weather. They were using an idiom, i.e. a phrase whose collective meaning is different to the meaning of its individual words.
Here are six common weather idioms:
raining cats and dogs
very heavy rain
It’s terrible weather outside; it’s raining cats and dogs.
to weather the storm
to get through a difficult time and survive
The government is in a crisis but they look like they will weather the storm.
to be snowed under
to have too much work or things to do
Oh, no! Not another new project. I’m already snowed under. I don’t have time to do any more.
every cloud has a silver lining
to always find something positive in a bad situation
Don’t worry about losing your job, it might be the best thing that’s happened to you. Remember, every cloud has a silver lining!
to be in trouble, to be going through a period of problems
The government is in stormy waters over its new transportation policy.
I’m in stormy waters with my girlfriend; I didn’t get home till 2 o’clock this morning.
to be a bit under the weather
to feel ill, sick, not feeling completely well
I’m taking the day off work today – I’m feeling a bit under the weather.
You look a bit under the weather, John. Aren’t you feeling well?