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21st Jan 2013

“Sure It’s Desperate Out!” Ten Things Irish People Love Saying About The Weather

As Irish people, we have a special kind of relationship with the weather. We love talking about it and giving out about it. Here are our favourite weather-related comments...

Have you seen the weather outside? Snow! Actual snow! Sure don’t you know it’s all that everyone will be talking about for the next week.

It goes without saying that us Irish people have a special kind of relationship with the weather. We love talking about it, watching Jean Byrne give the forecast on RTE is something of a social gathering in homes across the nation and it’s our favourite thing to complain about.

We hate it when it’s too hot, we hate it when it’s too cold, we hate it when it rains and we give out about the lack of rain and the impact it has on the farmers when we have clear, cloudless skies.

Given the fact that our forecast is set to get pretty bad over the next few days, we thought it was only fitting for us to countdown the top 10 things that every single Irish person in the country has said about the weather at some stage in their life…


10. “There’s a grand stretch in the evenings!”
As soon as Christmas is over, it becomes perfectly acceptable to comment on the amount of extra daylight we suddenly have (even if it is only .5 of a second). Talking about the “grand stretch” will dominate most of our social interactions until June, when we’ll immediately start giving out about the ‘darker evenings starting to creep in.’

9. “There’s great drying out”
Irish households seem to operate around two modes: rain mode (when it’s fine to throw all your washing into a dryer for hours at a time) and drying mode. When there’s great drying out, your mammy is likely to drag you out of bed early to help her hang out every bit of clothing in the house just so it can benefit from the magical properties of a decent wind.

8. “It’s absolutely bitter out!”
When the temperature drops below a certain point, it becomes acceptable to huff and puff about the place, dramatically rubbing your hands together and saying that it is absolutely feckin’ BIT-THURR outside. Today is one of those days.

7. “Sure the weather is desperate”
This phrase can normally be heard when the weather is a bit too unstable for our liking. For example, if it’s raining one day, dry the next and then raining again, the weather is clearly having a laugh. Absolutely desperate and sure didn’t you know that everyone is getting sick because of the weather? (that’s another favourite phrase to use).

We’re a bit obsessed with the rain, much as we hate to admit it

6. “Is it raining?”
Used all year round on our little island, “Is it raining?” is the common counter-question whenever anyone asks you something. For example: “Will you go to the shops and get me a breakfast roll?” “Is it raining?” or “Are you coming out tonight?” “I don’t know… is it raining?”

5. “There’s going to be frost tonight!”
If it’s cold outside and if there’s a clear sky, every single Irish person starts talking about frost and telling their nearest and dearest to watch out for it on the roads in the morning. When we awake and see the tell-tale signs of a good frost, we happily exclaim: “Sure isn’t it desperate out? It’s as bitter!!” as we eat our breakfast.

4. “It’s going to get worse!”
When it rains for more than two days at a time or if we have a tiny bit of snow or wind, our immediate reaction is to get all pessimistic and fret about how awful the weather is going to get over the next few days. It doesn’t matter that most of our fears are unfounded, we’ll still worry.

3. “It’s awful warm”
This is usually said when the temperature raises ever-so-slightly. As Irish people, we’re used to rain so we’re not exactly sure how to cope when the weather gets better. We don’t know what to do with heat so we generally just complain about it.

We always assume the worst when the weather is unsettled for a few days

2. “You wouldn’t put the dog out in it!”
When the weather is bad, it’s common practice to allow the family dog access to the kitchen. But only the kitchen because if your mam catches him anywhere else, there’ll be war. Although usually you can sneak him into the living room without her noticing until your poor is snoring happily in front of the fire.

1. “Do you remember back when we had the big snow?”
As well as enjoying talking about the weather, we also love reminiscing about it. “The big snow” of 2010 is something that is commonly chatted about, even in the middle of summer just in case we start forgetting about how harsh the Irish winter can be.