Why do Brits like talking about the weather?

The weather is a favourite topic of conversation between Brits, so it’s not surprising we have so many words and phrases to describe the conditions outside.

It’s not unusual for people when they first meet to chat about the weather, as it’s a safe conversation that doesn’t require either party to ask any personal questions about one another.

As the weather in Britain is changeable at the drop of a hat, there’s always something to talk about. You could find yourself in conversation about the cold and drizzling rain with a complete stranger in a coffee shop, or you could be sitting friends in a park, raving about the sunshine.

Although it’s cold a lot of the time—if you didn’t know that before you arrived, sorry!—there are varying weather conditions which people you meet will use different words to describe.

This list is by no means exhaustive but you are likely to come across the following. Try out a few yourself!

Words/phrases

Meaning

BreezyIt’s windy
It’s howling out thereIt’s very windy
A bit nippyIt’s a bit cold
ChillyIt’s a cold day
BleakIt’s a cold and dark day
It’s baltic out thereIt’s a very cold day
Brass monkeyIt’s really freezing cold
It’s a grey dayIt’s a dark and cloudy day
DrizzlingIt’s raining lightly
It’s just spittingIt’s raining very lightly, not enough to use an umbrella
Raining cats and dogsIt’s raining heavily
It’s chucking it downIt’s raining very heavily
You’ll get soakedIt’s raining very heavily and you should avoid going out
Knee deepIt’s snowed a lot
It’s slushyThe snow is melting
Aren’t we having unseasonal weather?The weather is not right for the time of the year