Word of the day – Mizzle

Posted on February 23, 2009 by yankeebean

yankeebeanOk, I’ve gotta take a minute to write about a new English word. It never fails to amaze me that, even after 6 years of living in Britain, I still discover new and fantastic words and phrases here…

I’m currently in the car with Mr Nice Guy, we’re road-tripping down south on business even as we speak. Somewhere near Birmingham, it gets a little foggy, and slowly the fog starts to turn into rain. The conversation went like this:

Me: oh, balls… It’s raining…
NG (Mr Nice Guy): It’s mizzle
Me: What?
NG: It’s Mizzle
Me: Do you mean, like, ‘fo shizzle, mah nizzle’? Like Snoop Dogg?
NG: No, it’s more than ‘mist’ and less than ‘drizzle’… It’s Mizzle
Me: (hysterical laughter)

MIZZLE!?! It’s GENIUS!! It’s just like the Eskimo and all their words for snow (is that even true?). It makes perfect sense that the English would have just as many words for rain. And I LOVE it…

I think living in England is making me a rain connoisseur… Currently my rain arsenal consists of:

Pissing it down
Spitting
Raining
Misting
Drizzle
Raining cats and dogs
Peeing it down
Pouring
Torrential rain
Bucketing

and…

MIZZLE…

Genius…

If I’m forgetting any rain-lingo, bring it on my fellow Not From Yorkshire ladies!

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  3. simhedges February 20, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I’ve used mizzle for years.
    Spotting
    Sheeting
    Dripping
    Monsooning it
    Coming down in stair rods
    It’s a dreich day
    It’s vertical
    Pourinng

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  5. Steve Shawcross August 14, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    There is in a way… http://www.urbandictionary.com Not a thesaurus I grant you, but…

    Or you could try Roger Mellie’s Profanisaurus (Viz) for the blunter ones ;)

  6. Steve Shawcross August 12, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    “Rain before seven, fine before eleven”– usually true!

    “Sea fret”… yeah… technically mist from drifting in from the sea. According to Jon Mitchell off Calendar it is, anyway!

    “Flick wipe” is best way to deal with mizzle when driving. And courtesy of Peter Kay:

    “It’s that fine rain that soaks you through”
    “It’s spitting, everybody in”
    “It’s that wet rain (as opposed to that dry rain!)”

    • yankeebean August 14, 2009 at 9:38 am

      I’m starting to wish there was some way we could donate this post to a thesaurus…

  7. Severs August 11, 2009 at 5:42 am

    “It looks like it’s set in for the day”

    “That really fine rain that gets you really wet” (whaaat????)

    “Naah, it’s just sea fret” (For coast dwellers in the North East during light drizzle only)

    “Horizontal”

    “You’ll need your coat on”

  8. Steve Shawcross July 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Mist+drizzle= mizzle. Ain’t portmanteau brilliant!

    “Raining stair-rods” is another, or “siling down”. For a dark storm cloud approaching, one could say: “It’s a bit black over Bill’s mother’s”!!

    It’s East Midlands expression again, that last one. Who Bill is, or his mother, is anybody’s guess!

  9. Cinda February 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    talked to my friend from ireland, she knew what mizzle was…love learning new words…oh, and as a parent with a child…raining puppies and kitties…and from hurricane land, squalls…rain mixed with sporadic wind…

  10. Christiana February 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hahaha, too funny yet so true! Nick and I once had the exact same conversation!

  11. emma February 25, 2009 at 11:47 am

    i am from the uk and i can honestly say i have never EVER heard of the term mizzle. just asked a few friends and they backed me on this one…!

  12. pacificyorkshirebird February 24, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    A variation of “peeing it down” – “weeing it down”, and also “fine rain”

    And a classing Pacific NW term – “downpour”

  13. Karen February 24, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    “chucking it down” is one I remember

  14. Iota February 24, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Tiling it down.

    And in Scotland, if you say the weather is “dreech” (the ch pronounced as in loch, not as in church), then that means mizzle, or possibly drizzle.

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