(nearly ) Forty Words for Rain


It’s a tad wet in my part of Ireland today. It’s been raining since I woke and looks set to continue until I sleep again. That’s the reason why when you fly over Ireland the land is green. I’m amazed we haven’t sunk over the last few centuries of the stuff.

There’s a saying that the Irish language (Gaeilge) has 40 words for seaweed and that the Inuit have a similar number for snow, so I’m wondering if I can come up with forty ways to describe rain.

  1. rain
  2. drizzle
  3. shower (showers spreading from the West is a typical Irish weather forecast, regardless of season)
  4. precipitation
  5. downpour
  6. bucketing (my kids favourite)
  7. lashing
  8. pissing
  9. storm
  10. mist
  11. soft day
  12. heavens opening
  13. cats and dogs (should be trout and salmon really… cats don’t like rain)
  14. cloud burst
  15. deluge
  16. squall
  17. pelt
  18. spit
  19. teem
  20. drip
  21. trickle
  22. sprinkling
  23. flood
  24. drop
  25. monsoon
  26. the wet
  27. reverse evaporation
  28. moisture
  29. water
  30. soaking
  31. drenching
  32. changeable weather
  33. spilling
  34. damp

Alright, so I didn’t quite make it to forty, but pretty close. Do you have any English words or expressions for rain that you can add to this list?

Until next time, happy reading, writing and wordfooling,

and don’t forget your umbrella,


9 thoughts on “(nearly ) Forty Words for Rain

    1. wordfoolery Post author

      Spatter definitely counts – that puts us on 35.
      I had to look up Rob McKenna the rain god (he’s in a Douglas Adams book) – I really must re-read those books.

    1. wordfoolery Post author

      36. torrent (excellent especially as rivers are all marked Torrente on bridges in Italy…they don’t do streams there, just torrents!)
      37. inundate
      38. spate
      39. splash
      40. submerge
      41. buster

      I had bucket on the list already but buster inspired me for…
      42. cloudburst

      I’m sure Douglas Adams would expect me to stop as such a useful number – 42 – but if anybody else has a suggestion?

    1. wordfoolery Post author

      chucking down – ah yes – that’s a good one. I had thought of H20 myself, but I wasn’t sure if it counted. Two votes make it legit though.

      Bringing the total to 45!

  1. Noelle Ameijenda

    And a few more:
    weather for ducks

    But the sun is shining today, yippee! Brolly to hand, just in case.

  2. Pingback: Cyprus – the Treasure Island | Go Further

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