|bolt from the blue||To refer to something as a bolt from the blue means that it happened totally unexpectedly.|
The chairman’s resignation came as a bolt from the blue.
|on cloud nine||A person who is on cloud nine is very happy because something wonderful has happened.|
When the boss announced my promotion, I was on cloud nine.
|cloud on the horizon||A problem or difficulty that is predictable, or seems likely to arise in the future, is called a cloud on the horizon.|
They are happily married and for the moment there appear to be no clouds on the horizon.
|in the dark||If someone is kept or left in the dark about something, they are not informed about it.|
The personnel was kept in the dark about the merger until the last minute.
|fair-weather friend||Someone who acts as a friend when times are good, and is not there when you are in trouble, is called a fair-weather friend.|
I thought I could count on Bill, but I’ve discovered he’s just a fair-weather friend.
|heavens open||When the heavens open, it suddenly starts to rain heavily.|
As soon as the race started, the heavens opened and the runners were soaked.
|once in a blue moon||If something occurs once in a blue moon, it happens very rarely.|
Bill has very little contact with his brother. They see each other once in a blue moon.
|reach for the moon||If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even if it is difficult.|
His parents were hardworking people who encouraged their children to reach for the moon.
|come rain or shine||If a person does something come rain or shine, they do it regularly, whatever the circumstances.|
He goes to the gym club every day, come rain or shine.
|never rains but it pours||This expression is used to comment on the fact that when something bad happens, other bad things often happen too, and make the situation even worse.|
First he forgot his briefcase, then he lost his wallet, and when he reached the car park, his car had been stolen – it never rains but it pours!
|take a rain check||To say that you take a rain check means that you cannot accept an invitation or offer now, but you will be happy to accept it later.|
Do you mind if I take a rain check on that lunch invitation? I’m going to be away all week.
|chasing rainbows||Someone who is chasing rainbows is trying to get something they will never obtain.|
She’s trying to get into Oxford, but I think she’s chasing rainbows.
|raindrop in the drought||When someone is waiting for a raindrop in the drought, they are waiting and hoping for something that has little chance of happening.|
For many people, finding a job these days is like waiting for a raindrop in the drought.
|raining cats and dogs||If it’s raining cats and dogs, it is raining very heavily.|
We’ll have to cancel the picnic I’m afraid – it’s raining cats and dogs.
|storm is brewing||If you say that a storm is brewing, you mean that the atmosphere indicates that there is going to be trouble, probably with outbursts of anger or emotion.|
As soon as we saw Pete’s face, we knew there was a storm brewing.
|storm in a teacup||To refer to something as a storm in a teacup means that people are making a lot of unnecessary fuss or getting excited about something unimportant.|
They were arguing about who should go to the supermarket, but it was just a storm in a teacup.
|in the eye of the storm||A person or organization who is in the eye of the storm is deeply involved in a difficult situation which affects a lot of people.|
The Prime Minister was often in the eye of the storm during the debate on the war in Iraq.
|lull before the storm||A period of unnatural calm before a difficult time or violent activity is called the lull before the storm.|
The sales start on January 1st. The quiet period before that is just the lull before the storm.
|weather the storm||If you weather the storm, you succeed in surviving a difficult period or situation.|
Given the current recession, the company is weathering the storm better than most.
|stormy relationship||If you have a stormy relationship with someone, you have a lot of arguments and disagreements.|
After a very stormy relationship, they decided to separate.
|make hay while sun shines||This expression is used as an encouragement to take advantage of a good situation which may not last.|
Successful athletes are advised to make hay while the sun shines.
|snowed under||Someone who is snowed under has so many things to do, usually work, that they unable to cope with it all.|
With the ‘flu epidemic, doctors and nurses are completely snowed under.
|face like thunder||If someone has a face like thunder, they look very angry.|
When Dad is really angry, he has a face like thunder!
|tide has turned||When a trend has changed from one thing to another, the tide has turned.|
Before, people wanted to live in residential suburbs; now the tide has turned and warehouses are being converted into fashionable loft apartments.
|under the weather||If you are under the weather, you are not feeling very well.|
You look a bit under the weather. What’s the matter?
|chill wind of something||If you face or feel the chill wind of something, you are beginning to encounter the problems or trouble it causes.|
Many building companies are facing the chill wind of the recession.
|get wind of||If you get wind of something, you hear about something you were unaware of, usually a private or secret matter.|
The chairman didn’t want the press to get wind of the takeover before the agreement was signed.
|know which waywind blows||This expression means that it is advisable to know how a situation is developing, or what the tendency is, in order to be prepared for any changes.|
Before we decide on anything, we need to know which way the wind is blowing.