Archives for posts with tag: wind

Worse things happen at sea.

One way of cheering people up is to make them realise that other people may be in a worse situation.

You’ll miss the boat.
Hurry up!  (Here boat is used for any opportunity.)

Don’t rock the boat…
or don’t make waves
are advice against upsetting people by suggesting new ways of doing something, for example.

We’re all in the same boat.
Boat here is situation or circumstances.

Plain sailing.
Usually this is used with negative connotations.  I recently heard a difficult marriage described as “It wasn’t all plain sailing.”

That’s taken the wind out of your sails.
Someone said something which deflated someone else’s ego, perhaps.

Ships that pass in the night.
People who live or work near each other, but never meet are described this way.

When your ship comes in.
Ships used to be the main way of importing valuable cargo, so this was often said if someone was dreaming about something they would like to do, if only they could afford it.

Plumbing the depths.
Does this come from measuring the depth of the sea?  It is often used figuratively maybe about searching memory.

I’m all at sea.

Nail your colours to the mast.
Coloured flags are used as signals.  If you nail your colours to the mast, you say what you believe.

There are plenty of other sayings based on the sea and sailing and a wealth of literature.  A writer who was inspired by the sea was John Masefield, whose poems, “Cargoes” and “Sea Fever”, are well know.  His “cross-over” book “The Bird of Dawning” is also well worth reading.

The Sea of Galilee is mentioned in the Gospels.  Two notable occasions are first when Jesus was asleep in the boat and a storm blew up.  The disciples woke him and he stilled the storm.  Matthew Chapter 8 verses 23 to 27  The second one is when he sent them on ahead in a boat and then walked on the water to join them.  Matthew  Chapter 14 verses 22 to 33

Another book I’d like to recommend is “If you want to walk on water, you’ll have to get out of the boat” by John Ortberg.

Let’s start with a proverb.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

In any situation there are likely to be winners and losers.  However this is filed under “Optimism” in “The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying and Quotation.”  (This is the reference book I use to check where well-known quotations from English literature have come from.)

We’ll see which way the wind blows.
There are lots of sayings about waiting to see what will happen.   Just as the direction of the wind affects the weather, so people’s moods may affect their decisions. 

Mind the wind doesn’t change or you’ll be stuck like that!
There is an amusing children’s picture book by Tony Ross called “Towser and the Funny Face”, which explores this advice against pulling faces.

Put the wind up someone.
This is nothing to do with inflating them!  It is an expression about getting someone worried.  Perhaps the wind here is of a different kind!

Ride like the wind.
Number 3 on the Beaufort scale is 8 to 12 miles an hour.  How fast do horses go?

If you go for a walk on a windy day it is supposed to blow the cobwebs away.  I suppose it means freshen you up. 

She blows hot and cold
Sometimes the wind direction (and subsequently the temperature) changes frequently.  There is an analogy with someone who is not consistent.

It never rains, but it pours.
A handy expression when everything seems to be going wrong at the same time.

It’s raining cats and dogs.
I’ve heard of it raining frogs.  There was a joke going round a long time ago about a cargo plane carrying spare parts for cars.  It was losing height and the crew decided to jettison some of the load to see if they could remedy the situation.  It was raining Datsun cogs!

It’s raining stair-rods.
It is easy to see how very heavy rain resembles stair-rods, if you know what they are.
However with the popularity of fitted carpets, stair-rods are mainly seen in historic houses.  They are completely straight and hold the narrow stair-carpet in position at the bottom of each riser.

It’s only a storm in a teacup.
Something which may seem very important, especially to a child, is not all that serious.  How big can the waves be in a small space?

Cause a storm.
This could upset people especially if they have a stormy temper.

There’s a storm brewing or trouble on the wind.
Life is getting difficult.

They made heavy weather of that.
It looked like an easy job, but they found it difficult.  I’m going to look at expressions about sailing and the sea later. 

Chasing rainbows.
Are theses rainbows dreams?  If you try to reach a rainbow it moves.  Has anyone ever found the pot of gold at the foot of the rainbow?

The very first description of a rainbow comes in the story of Noah and the ark. Genesis Chapter 9 verses 12-17.  So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Verse 17 (NIV)