In like a lion…

Mar 5, 2012 | Language, Translation

In like a lion, out like a lambThis morning I have been thinking about the weather. I don’t know about you but we had a pretty yucky weekend weather-wise, but this morning the sun was shining and it got me thinking about the phrase March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb, starting the month with wind and rain and snow, and ending it with sunshine and daffodils (that sounds like a song!). Sometimes the phrase goes If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb which brought my rambling thoughts round to other weather-related phrases and their accuracy.

As children, we always used to scan the cloudy sky to see if there was enough blue to make sailor’s trousers – which meant the sun might be coming out! Not too sure of the accuracy of that one…

Of course, being able to assess weather conditions can be crucial, so a lot of weather phrases are based in fact and are common across the world. The saying Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning. Red sky at night, shepherds delight (sometimes fisherman’s warning, but we always went with sheep in my house…) is a common one and is usually pretty accurate. Nothing new, variations of the message can be found in the bible:

“When evening comes, you say
‘It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.’
And in the morning,
‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’

And Shakespeare knew it as well:

Like a red morn that ever yet betokened,
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.

There are variations across the world, including in Norway where Morgenrode gir dage blode. Kveldsrode gir dage sode translates to Morning red gives wet days. Evening red gives sweet days. And Italy, where the phrase Rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera, rosso di mattina mal tempo si avvicina translates as Red at night, good weather is hoped, red in the morning bad weather approaches.

Do you have a favourite weather saying?

Thanks to Wikipedia
Picture credit: © Debspoons | Dreamstime.com