Saffle Says --- Lessons for English Learners

Here you can find out all the information you need about the Michael's ESL podcast and blog. Post questions and comments as you wish. I value listener and reader comments so don't be shy! The questions you ask me more than likely will be questions others want to know the answers to!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nice Weather We're Having.

What is one of the first things you learn how to say in English? I bet it's "How is the weather today?" Well, let's expand on that and give you some more helpful idioms and expressions that Americans use when talking about the weather.
This is also a good form of small talk which you can use with friends or people you meet for the first time. Try them out the next time you go to an English class or talk to a English speaking person you know.

Indian summer:
A warm and pleasant autumn.
"I was really not expecting an Indian summer in the middle of November. I might get my shorts out of the closet!"

Raining cats and dogs: I think most Japanese know this idiom, but it means when it is raining very hard.
"Hey Frank, you better go roll up you car windows, it's raining cats and dogs!"

Brass Monkey Weather:
In the UK you might here this expression. It means very cold weather.
"It's brass monkey weather isn't it?"

Now here are a couple of idioms that sound like they might have something to do with the weather but in actuality they mean something entirely different.

Feeling under the weather: When you are feeling sick, or not very good.
"Hey Chuck, are you going to the party tonight? No man, I'm feeling under the weather."
"I think I'm going to call it a night and go straight home after work."

Fair-weather friend: In this case fair-weather means a friend who is only there for you when things are going well. That's the fair-weather, good times. When things are going bad and you need a real friend, a fair-weather friend is no where to be found.
"I am sick of fair-weather friends who are never around when I need help."

A snowball's chance in Hell: I think this is my favorite one. If you say someone doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell then you are saying there is no chance. 0% Not going to happen! The expression is a combination of snow which is cold and Hell which is thought to be very hot. How long can a snowball last in Hell? Not very long!
"The peace talk in Annapolis have a snowball's chance in Hell of brining lasting peace to the Middle East."

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