Neil Porteous mentioned the word “dreach” to describe the gloomy rainy day that greeted us at the start of our Forum at Clandeboye this year. After a quick glance at uncle Google, I found another 50 words the Scots use to describe rain in Scotland so was relieved to see that in Ireland, The DailyEdge journalist Michael Freeman has offered a modest 11 stages of the wet stuff.   We came across a couple of them during our Forum in October.

Level 1: Grand soft day (thank God)    How to spot: Grey out, just a thick mist, not too cold, might rain later. In other words, conditions are normal.

Level 2: Spitting (or ‘only spitting’)  How to spot: Definitely raining, but sure it might clear up. It wouldn’t stop you nipping to the shops/going for a walk/having a picnic on a freezing beach on a family holiday, anyway.

Level 3: Wetting rain  How to spot: Looks deceptively innocuous – you’d think it was no more than a mist – but soaks through clothing and makes you screw up your face in an unattractive way while walking through it.
Is it worth taking an umbrella? Maybe, but you’ll only have to carry it round.

Level 4: Rotten.  How to spot: All-over greyness. Possible windiness. Unrelenting rain that never turns into a good honest downpour, but is definitely umbrella material. The weather equivalent of a sulking teenager.

Level 5: Pissing. How to spot: Heavy-ish rain. Would definitely make you think twice about going into town for a few things. Windscreen wipers up to the second setting in the car.

Level 6: Raining stair rods.How to spot: Big, fat rain that really means it. Minor-league umbrellas (ie those €4 ones from Centra) may struggle. You have your good shoes ruined.

Level 7: Bucketing. How to spot: Heavy rain with a surprise element: “It started bucketing down.” Generally appears when you have planned some kind of outdoor activity.
You might sit in the car for a while to see will it ease off. It probably won’t.

Level 8: Hooring.  How to spot: Windscreen wipers up to full. People scurrying between shop doorways. Someone probably holding a newspaper over their head, which is completely pointless and will ruin your newspaper

Level 9: Pelting down.  How to spot: Serious quantities of water falling from the sky. Enough of a conversation point that you will almost certainly compare damp patches with at least one work colleague. Lift dialogues will go like this: “Jaysus, the weather.” “I know, Jaysus.”

Level 10: Lashing.  How to spot: Rain actually bouncing off the ground. Even medium-quality umbrellas are no protection. Their corpses lie strewn around the city streets.

Level 11: Hammering.  How to spot: Even the Irish a bit taken aback by the force of it. People talk about it in hushed tones and you can see them struggling for a big enough word: “It’s absolutely lashing… no, I mean REALLY lashing… HAMMERING down.”
Don’t go outside. You’ll ruin yourself.

About the author   Michael Freeman



Very interesting . The Eskimo language has 50 words for snow and the Japanese language also has at least 50 words to describe rain as It rains a lot in Japan .


Having just moved from Edinburgh
back to my native Lincoln
I would suggest – the Scots spelling of the word is dreich
“(Middle English (in the sense ‘patient, long-suffering’): of Germanic origin, corresponding to Old Norse drjúgr ‘enduring, lasting’.)”
“OF all the words in the Scots language, it is perhaps appropriate that ‘dreich’ should, ahem, reign over them all. Ahead of Burns Night , a new poll has revealed that the word, which usually refers to wet, cold or gloomy weather, has been voted as the nation’s favourite with 23 per cent of the public vote.”

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