Today (August 29), hot weather is expected to give way to storms in the west, south-west and south of France, which made us think of a similar weather-related expression.
‘Faire la pluie et le beau temps’ (literally: to make rain and nice weather) could translate to something like ‘to be or play God’ in English, as it refers to someone or something that controls everything.
Equivalent English expressions may therefore include ‘to call the shots’ or ‘to run the show’.
An example in French would be: ‘elle aime ce chien tellement, c’est lui qui fait la pluie et le beau temps dans cette maison’ (she loves that dog so much, it’s him who rules the roost in this house).
In French, you might also say ‘mener le jeu’ (to lead the game) or ‘faire la loi’ (to make the law).
‘Faire la pluie et le beau temps’ dates back to 1732, and is thought to refer to the gods of ancient mythologies, who could change the weather on a whim.
Other French weather-related expressions include ‘parler de la pluie et du beau temps’ (to talk of rain and good weather), which translates as ‘to make small-talk’ or ‘to chit-chat’.
There is also ‘après la pluie, le beau temps’ (after the rain comes good weather), which describes the idea that every bad situation gives way to brighter days or a hidden positive.
In English it would therefore be ‘the darkest hour is just before dawn’ or ‘every cloud has a silver lining’.