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Old expressions to describe the recent weather

It’s been quite peculiar weather lately. One moment it can be sunny and almost warm, the other it might be snowing again. At least it keeps things interesting. And I found some very nice, old-fashioned words to describe this kind of weather. They are amazing to start using again, don’t you think?

Of course there are plenty of modern English words to describe the recent weather. But sometimes it is just fun to learn new words. Especially if they capture what you want to say better than your regular vocabulary. I think these words will do just that.

Or, at least you will have learned a couple of fancy new words, to use whenever the right situation might occur.


When there is a sudden burst of sunshine, then you can call that a gleen. It is thought that the word originates from the old Scandinavian “glene”, which describes a patch of clear sky. I think the word comes in great when you try to describe the way sun breaks through a patch of clouds, without having to use the word “sun” twice in every sentence.
“It’s been so cloudy all day, but now look at that beautiful gleen!” I can totally hear it being used again.


If there are multiple gleens within a short period of time, you could say the weather is gleamy. It is used when the weather is “fitful and uncertain” or intermittently sunny. I think this term is especially appropriate with the weather we have had lately. Yesterday, for example, the sky was constantly switching between heavily clouded and very brightly sunny. It was definitely a very gleamy day!

A gleamy day, still sunny, but dark clouds come rolling in again from the left

A gleamy day, still sunny, but dark clouds come rolling in again from the left



Such a gleamy day is a lot better than a day when the weather flenches. If that is the case, you will constantly feel that the weather is about to improve, but it doesn’t. If you think the clouds are going to break any minute now, and keep thinking that until the sun goes down, you can rightfully say that the weather has flenched.


So, when you have one of those dark, cloudy, drizzling days, you could turn to the word mokey to describe the weather conditions. I mean, dark, dull, grey, cloudy, all of those words are very overrated. Why not use the fancy mokey instead? It sounds a bit more cheerful than the other options, don’t you think?


Finally, if you don’t feel like mokey is the right word for you, why not use hunch-weather? The meaning is slightly different but you could still use it in many of the same situations. As the name suggests, hunch-weather is when the weather conditions make you hunch your shoulders whenever you are walking outside. So that could be when it is raining, snowing, drizzling, or when a strong wind is blowing, for example. I’m sure you can use the word more often than you would expect at first.

I think this would definitely qualify as hunch-weather

I think this would definitely qualify as hunch-weather

How do you feel about those expressions? Do you think you could use them sometime?
I bet you will have a chance to shine with your new vocabulary before too long.

Maybe native English speakers already knew all of these expressions, or maybe you are wondering whether I made them all up. Either way, I didn’t know them yet and had great fun finding out about them in old dictionaries. I hope you at least enjoyed reading about those very nice ways to describe the weather.

Have a great Thursday with hopefully lots of gleens!

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  • Reply Sandra HippoLogic

    I love these expressions and I didn’t know any of them. I will pay attention and see if these words are used (and known) by Canadians. :)

    Friday February 26th, 2016 at 06:33 PM
    • Reply Inge

      Who knows, maybe some people there still use them! Thanks for your kind comment :)

      Saturday February 27th, 2016 at 10:30 AM
  • Reply Bernette

    What a great post! Like you, I didn’t know those words to describe the weather, but most of them suit the weather from the past few days very well. Thanks for sharing!

    Friday February 26th, 2016 at 07:41 AM
    • Reply Inge

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Saturday February 27th, 2016 at 10:29 AM

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