'When It Rains' photo (c) 2006, bronwyn quilliam - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

With all the rain we received yesterday and the forecast calling for more today, it seems a good opportunity to look at some English idioms related to rain, storms, and water in general. Check out the idioms and sayings below. How many  do you already know? Try out some of the new ones in your conversations today!

  • to be right as rain – to be good, alright
    Elise and her sister had an argument in the morning, but after talking it through, they were right as rain.
  • “Whenever it rains, it pours!” – bad things happen in large numbers, not small numbers
    Allison overslept today and then got a flat tire on the way to work. She couldn’t call for help because her phone battery had died. Whenever it rains, it pours!
  • weather the storm – to endure something difficult
    Life doesn’t always go the way we plan, but if we weather the storms in our life, we will become stronger.
  • water under the bridge – something that has already happened and cannot be undone
    Your past mistakes are water under the bridge. You can learn from them, but don’t let them hold you back!
  • to be in hot water (remember this one from our July 15 post?)  – to be in a lot of trouble
    If you don’t do your homework, you will be in hot water on test day!
  • to be like a fish out of water – to be in a situation you are not familiar or comfortable with
    Duane went dancing with his friends on the weekend, but when he got on the dance floor, he was like a fish out of water.
  • to be a drop in the ocean – to be too small to have any significant effect
    One person’s efforts to stop world hunger are just a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed.
  • to take the plunge – to do something that takes courage to do
    Ahmed was nervous about traveling to the United States to study English, but he finally took the plunge.
  • to let off steam – to do or say something to release stress, anger, or frustration
    Whenever Linda gets stressed from all of her responsibilities, she goes for long walks to let off steam.
Do you have any creative suggestions for how these idioms might be used? Email your sentences to us at socialmedia@iei.edu!