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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 7°C

8 words for weather that only exist in Ireland

Repeat after us: Tá an ghrian ag scoilteadh na gcloch…

IF TALKING WAS a sport at the Olympics, Irish people would have it sewn up.

We’re a nation who love an aul chinwag and our favourite topic of conversation – without a shadow of a doubt – is the weather.

An inability to converse fluently and at length about the forecast would be a true social impediment in Ireland, but luckily we’re here on hand with a glossary of useful terms.

1. Soft day (thank God)

Nice Day bencrowe bencrowe

What exactly is a soft day? Is there a true definition of a soft day, or do you just know one when you encounter one? One thing is for sure: you’ve got to add in the “thank God” or else you’re basically wishing rain upon us. Why would you do that?

2. Fierce mild

Sunny day at work stephendotcarter stephendotcarter

An oxymoron? Perhaps. Just don’t say that to an Irish person or they’ll think you’re starting a scrap.

3. Grand drying

Washing Line fyunkie Grand drying - yay or nay? fyunkie

We’re never going to get tans from the Irish summer sun, but we sure as hell will get grand drying out of it. No one can take our grand drying from us. No one.

4. Wet rain

Birthday Rainbow tinyfroglet tinyfroglet

Just like “fierce mild” could be dismissed as a mere oxymoron by someone who didn’t know better, “wet rain” may initially be mistaken by the untrained ear as a nonsensical tautology. However this is not the case. “Wet rain” is the type of soft, sheety rain that really gets under your skin and unexpectedly leaves you soaked.

5. Spitting

DSC_7184 Amanda N Sherrington Amanda N Sherrington

Bucketing. Lashing. Pegging it. Other more rude variants we’re too charming to mention. They all mean raining, but the most uniquely Irish of them all has to be this – spitting rain. It’s actually a bit upsetting if you think about it literally, which luckily we never do.

6. Splitting the stones

I love sunny days... hazelnutter hazelnutter

Coming directly from the Irish language phrase, this means sun so strong that it’d crack rocks. Now that’s sunny, so it is.

7. Down for the day

gc365day65 leppre leppre

That’s it now. We may as well pack up and go home. It’s down for the day – AKA it’s going to coming down in sheets for the rest of the foreseeable future, so let’s get indoors so we can start the serious business of moaning some more about it.

8. Four seasons in a day

REALLY BLACK SKY IN GRANGEGORMAN REF-101638 infomatique infomatique

And finally, for the one that sums it all up… Because there’s nothing more Irish than going through all the different weather types within one afternoon. From Baltic cold to sleet to sunshine and then gale force winds, there’s never a dull moment with our weather, is there?

Did we miss any? Let us know your favourite Irish term for the weather in the comments – we’d love to hear them.

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