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5 most common weather expressions in American English

September marks the arrival of spring in the Southern Hemisphere and fall in the Northern one. This change of seasons is the perfect opportunity to go over some of the vocabulary and phrases associated to the weather. That's why On Point's IG will have tons of vocabulary and expressions that are weather-related, on Mondays' #wordoftheweek, Thursdays' #idiomoftheweek and Fridays' #trivia posts. Don't forget to check them out!

Now, you might have noticed, when tuning into your favorite TV show or watching movies, that Americans tend to use certain weather-related expressions quite often. Here we have created a list of the 5 most common ones. Enjoy!


Take a rain check (on something)

"Mind if I take a rain check? I'm waiting for a call from Emily"

In this episode of "Friends", Rachel and Ross had made plans to go to the movies, but he is now asking her for a "rain check". What's that? Well, taking a rain check means that you cannot accept an invitation at the moment, but would like to do so later in the future. It's a cool, informal way of postponing something.

More examples:

- I'm sorry but I'm busy on Saturday. Can I take a rain check?

- I would love to go out for drinks tonight, but I have an early day tomorrow. Rain check?


Rain on someone's parade

"Hey, man, I don't wanna rain on your parade, but we're not gonna last 17 hours."

Anyone remember the movie "Aliens"? In this clip, Bill Paxton's character is not so sure about his fellow companions' plan for survival. What does the phrase he uses mean? Basically, to rain on someone's parade means to prevent someone from enjoying something, or to upset someone's plans. The "parade" would be the cool plan/activity and the "rain" what spoils all the fun.

More examples:

- I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I have some bad news.

- My mom didn't let me go to Jack's party. She really rained on my parade.


On cloud nine

"I was on cloud nine this morning. Had a good night's sleep, hot shower..."

Apparently, Denise from "Scrubs" had a great morning. She says she was on cloud nine, meaning that she was extremely happy and excited. What makes you feel like that?

More examples:

- Tom was still on cloud nine weeks after winning the championship.

- I've been on cloud nine ever since I got my dream job.


Break the ice

"Find some shared interests. Something you both like, you know, to break the ice."

In the show "Fresh off the boat", young Eddie develops a crush on a girl, but has no idea how to approach her. His father gives him advice on how to do that... finding a common interest. To break the ice is to make people feel more relaxed and comfortable. What do you typically use as an ice-breaker? A joke, a game, a specific topic of conversation?

More examples:

- My dad always tells jokes to break the ice.

- Talking about the weather is a great ice-breaker.


Dry spell

- "Still going through that dry spell with Carol?"

- "Yeah"

You can never watch too much "Friends", right?. In this alternative-universe episode, Phoebe and Ross are discussing Ross' icy relationship with his wife, Carol. Phoebe asks him if there's still a "dry spell" going on. A what, now? Well, if we take the literal meaning of the expression, it's a period of no rain. However, in a more idiomatic sense, a dry spell can be described as a period of no success/productivity. In this particular clip, no success in the bedroom (wink wink).

More examples:

- Sam is a great salesman, but he's been going through a bit of a dry spell lately.

- Julie is in a romantic dry spell right now. She hasn't been on a date for weeks.



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