A while back I asked for words we Irish use to describe rain. I wanted to demonstrate to the Austrians, who seem to have only 1 word for rain, that they are failing to convey the subtlety and nuance of the experience you can expect when you go outside and it is precipitating.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have ended up with a list of 30 which you can see at the bottom of the post. I have ranked all of them on a chart. The y-axis describes the average size of the “rain” drop coming from the sky. And the x-axis conveys the quantity of drops falling at any given instant. This is a subjective chart, based on my views of rainfall. Some terms I was a little unsure of, and one “The Lad” (thanks Mick) has me baffled. I am open to feedback on any and all. And if you have more, let me know and I might add them to a future version.

Now the graph:
Irish terms for rain

Irish terms for rain. Source, various.L

What isn’t conveyed is the time dimension. A phrase like “grand soft day thank god” implies that it will continue to rain like this for the remainder of the day, and possibly the season. My simple hand drawn graph fails there.

Next I need to organise a meeting and do a power point presentation for my Austrian colleagues. I will explain to them how I want the to discuss rain in future.

BTW, the terms I collected were: Mildering, heavens open, torrential, lashing, bucketing, needles, “the lad”, mizzle, monsoon, pouring, downpour, dumping, heavy rain, hammering, hooring, spilling, pissing, fat rain, rain, light rain, drop of rain, “grand soft day thank god”, skitting, thin rain, shower, drizzle, spitting, fine mist, and misht.