Wintry weather idioms

English people have a reputation for talking about the weather. At this time of year, there is a lot to say about ice, snow and cold, windy weather. Here are some wintry weather idioms and their meanings.

1. To be skating on thin ice

To be doing something that is dangerous or which could have negative consequences. He’s skating on thin ice by lying about the status of the project in the meeting. People just need to ask a few important questions and then everyone will know that he hasn’t been doing any work.

2. A snowball effect

A situation which gains momentum or where something increases in size or impact.
I started off making bags to sell to friends in my spare time. However my friends told their friends and within a couple of months, I had a full-time business. It was a kind of snowball effect.

3. To be snowed under

To have so much to do that you can’t take on anything else.
I was invited to lunch on Friday but I’m snowed under at work. I barely have time for a sandwich at the moment.

4. Every cloud has a silver lining

Even if a situation looks bad, something good will come out of it.
We had left it too late to book the office Christmas party. The venue that we wanted was already fully booked. However we then discovered a new restaurant that nobody had heard of before and the event was a success. Every cloud has a silver lining!

5. To get wind of something

To learn about something, even though it was supposed to be a secret.
This information is confidential. We don’t want our competitors to get wind of it before the plans are finalised or they may steal the good idea.

6. To have a face like thunder

To have a facial expression that shows that you are very angry.
I wanted to ask my manager for some time off, but she had a face like thunder when she came out of her last meeting. I decided it wasn’t the best time to ask.

7. To throw caution to the wind

This means that someone is taking a big risk.
I knew that we could suffer financial losses if the product didn’t sell. However I was so convinced it would be a success that I threw caution to the wind and had 1000 of them produced.

Christmas tree in Stockholm

English with Kirsty Christmas prize draw

The Christmas prize draw is now closed. You can sign up to the newsletter if you want to be the first to know about new promotions and to receive other news and information for learners of English.

Take part in the English with Kirsty Christmas prize draw and you could win one of the following prizes:

1 x A 5-week writing course with individual feedback to help you improve your written English.
Worth: £100

2 x A free grammar lesson – choose from the 10 available modules
Worth: £30 each

3 x A 15-day audio course to help you write better emails.
Worth: £30 each

For your chance to win, fill in the following form:

Picture of dog with Christmas decorations
Maisie the German shepherd encourages you to take part in the English with Kirsty Christmas prize draw!

Click here for terms and conditions.

Winners will be notified by email and announced in the English with Kirsty newsletter in January 2016.