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ESL Learning: Weather Idioms

How’s the weather where you are today?

Let’s talk about some idioms related to the weather.

It’s raining cats and dogs: this is a phrase used to describe very heavy rain. Very, very heavy rain, so heavy that it sounds like animals are landing on the roof! Some people claim that the origin of this phrase is the Greek “cata doxa”, which translates to something like ‘beyond previous experience or belief’.


There is also a sadder explanation for the beginning of this phrase in English. Long ago, before we had good rain drains in cities, many cats and dogs would die during heavy rain because they would drown in suddenly flooded streets. In English, we call sudden flooding flash floods.

Nowadays, “it’s raining cats and dogs” can be used for any time when it is raining unusually hard.


  • The weather report says that it will be raining cats and dogs tonight. We better not go to the soccer game.

  • Oh my gosh! It’s raining cats and dogs out there! My clothes are totally soaked!

  • When it’s raining cats and dogs, it’s important to be careful while driving. Some drivers will slow down suddenly, and others may panic. You may want to pull off the road until the rain slows down, if it is safe to do so.

Come rain or shine: we use this phrase to express that it doesn’t matter what the weather will be like. It is often used to let someone know that he or she can depend on us (or is expected) to be somewhere despite any challenges, including bad weather.  This phrase may also be expressed as rain or shine or come rain or come shine.

come rain or shine


  • I’m going to meet you here at 10 am, come rain or shine.

  • Although there were protests throughout the city, my taxi driver got me to the airport. He’s the  best! He always gets me there, rain or shine.

  • Come rain or come shine, no matter what comes, a good husband will be loyal to his wife, as long as she is loyal to him.

How’s the weather up there?: this phrase is used to ask the literal (exactly as the words suggest) question about the weather when someone is at a higher elevation. It can also be used when someone short is speaking to someone taller. Be careful not to ask this question to someone who is embarrassed of being tall. This phrase can also be used when a short person is positioned higher than you are, like a child who is sitting on his father’s shoulders.

  • Wow! You must really be enjoying your vacation to the mountains! How’s the weather up there?

  • Hey, Shaq! How’s the weather up there?


No matter how the weather is, ETO is here for our clients. So come rain or come shine, you can count on us. It may be raining cats and dogs, but you can have an exceptional class from the comfort of your own home. Check out what our clients have to say about us!

We’re happy to be at your service in any weather!

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By Joseph

ETO American English teacher


1 responses on "ESL Learning: Weather Idioms"

  1. Reblogged this on metrocallclass and commented:
    Some students mentioned difficulty with weather terms. I hope this helps.

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