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British Words and Phrases to Describe the Rain

7 months ago

Here are a few of the most stand-out phrases, often used when Brits get soaked!


It’s raining cats and dogs
Quite possibly the most famous of the lot, ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ has many theories. The most unbelievable (and believable, to be honest) is that in old England, dogs and cats used to sleep on the roofs of thatched houses, sliding off them when it started to rain. What it really means to Brits is just ridiculously heavy rain.

Tipping down
Another way to describe heavy rain is the phrase ‘tipping down’.
eg. ‘We can’t go to the beach today, as it’s tipping down’.

Drizzle
‘Drizzle’ means light rain to Brits, often when it’s raining but barely noticeable.

Spitting
For the rain to be ‘spitting’ it means it’s just starting.

Bucketing down
Similar to tipping down, bucketing down is another way to describe heavy rain. In its quite literal sense, it’s rain as if somebody is standing over your head pouring a bucket of water on you.

Nice weather… for ducks
simply insinuates that only ducks could enjoy the wet spell.

Trying to rain
‘Trying to rain’ means it’s starting to rain.

Downpour
used to describe a particularly heavy rain shower.

It’s raining sideways
‘It’s raining sideways’ is used when the wind is so strong that the heavy rain ends up falling horizontally instead of vertically. Not nice when you’re walking in its direction.

Drenched
Not so much a word to describe the rain itself, more so to describe how Brits often get when it rains. To get ‘drenched’ is to get soaked through.
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