7 French expressions to use for wet weather

Here are some French idioms you may be hearing on rainy days...

French expressions to describe bad weather

France’s national weather service has warned of further disruption today (January 17), putting 17 departments on orange (second level) alert and a further 79 on yellow (first level).

It comes on the heels of Storm Gérard, which on Monday (January 16) left 90,000 homes without power and saw road, rail and ferry routes impacted by strong winds and fallen trees.

Read more: High winds, heavy rain, snow: Most of France placed on weather alert

We've compiled a list of French expressions to help you describe the bad weather below.

1. Trempé comme une soupe

This phrase translates to being 'soaked like a soup'. It means to be very wet after being caught in the rain.

2. Trempé jusqu’aux os

To be really soaked – literally, to the bone. Note that in English, you do not get so wet and are only soaked to the skin.

3. Il pleut comme vache qui pisse

Used for when it is absolutely tipping it down – as powerful a torrent as when a cow is urinating.

4. Il pleut des cordes

The French equivalent of 'it's raining cats and dogs' where instead of animals falling from the sky, it's ropes. You can also say ‘il tombe des cordes’.

5. Il pleut à seaux

A way of saying it's bucketing it down. Used for heavy rain and when in politer company than number 3 would allow.

6. Un temps de chien

This is an expression to describe very bad weather. When it's horribly wet and cold, the French say it's 'dog weather'.

7. Ça pète

You can use this when speaking about a big storm with thunder and lightning. If a storm is coming, you might also hear ‘ça va péter’, meaning it's about to burst.

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