An Australian’s Guide to Talking About the Weather in Gaelic

One of the first things an Australian learns when discussing the weather in Gaelic is that one can’t always take the dictionary definition as a translation. For example, “tioram” doesn’t in fact mean “dry”, is means “not currently raining at this exact second”. Similarly, “teth” doesn’t mean hot, it means “I’m down to just one jumper”.

So, as something as a rant – and, if anyone from my class is reading this, take note – here is one Australian’s mental chart to describing the weather – because if we used the Scottish definitions, we’d have to invent several new words meaning things like “really too hot to be alive” and “why would any sane person decide to settle in a country with this weather?!!”.
Weather 1

Here are some other mental pictures, describing, in my opinion, the meaning of some weather descriptor words:

This is “tioram”
Weather 2
“Tioram” (dry) means it hasn’t rained for months. It’s very dry. There’s no water.

This is “fliuch”
Weather 3
“Fliuch” (raining) means you’re getting one or two drops, but it’s still warm enough to be outside in your bathers, and the small of petrichor is very strong.

This is “uisge ann”
Weather 4
“Uisge ann” (wet) means that, by some fluke of nature, a tropical Wet Season storm has made it all the way south to you, flooding your city.


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