Words to save for a rainy day

The English language is rich in words for rain. As autumn approaches, perhaps this is a good time to add some of them to your vocabulary.
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Indy Lifestyle Online
There is an often-repeated allegation that the Inuit have 27 words for "snow". Modern linguists, who have moved away from theories of the development of language as primarily descriptive, deny it, and blame the myth on someone who never bothered to chat to an Eskimo, but made up the figure to lend weight to a now-discredited theory.

But the Solomon Islanders do have nine words for the various stages of maturation of a coconut, and the Hawaiians have 134 words for varieties of sweet potato (all of which may be found in Harold Winfield Kent's very useful Treasury of Hawaiian Words in One Hundred and One Categories, published by the Masonic Public Library of Hawaii in 1986), including `a`anali`i, `a`anali`i - a small, stunted sweet potato; kokoko`oha - very small sweet potatoes, with red veins and often soggy tubers; and the unspecified wehiwa variety.

So why do the English not have more words for rain? The answer, as a quick browse through the Oxford English Dictionary reveals, is that we do have a rain-rich vocabulary. We just don't use much of it. With clear skies and stable, dry weather expected all week, it's time to brush up on weather words in time for the autumn squalls. Here are some of our more neglected rain words:

bedrabble, vb: to make wet and dirty with rain and mud.

blirt, n: a short dash of rain arriving with a gust of wind

blout, n: the sudden breaking of a storm or a sudden downpour of rain or snow accompanied by wind

brack, n: a sudden heavy fall of rain

buck, adj: soaking with rain

carrier, n: a small, low, detached cloud betokening rain (Upton-on-Severn dialect)

colt's tail, n: a small cloud with ragged edge portending rain

dag, n: thin or gentle rain (except in Ayrshire, where it means a heavy shower)

dank, vb: to drizzle

driffle, vb: to rain fitfully or in sparse drops

drow, n: cold mist approaching rain

evendown, adj or adv: raining straight down

flaught, n: a sudden blast of wind and rain

gourder, n: a flooding rain

gruft, n: particles of soil washed up by rain among the grass

heat-drop, n: a few drops of rain ushering in a hot day

hyetal, adj: of or pertaining to rain

impluvious, adj: wet with rain

mizzle, n or vb: slight rain

mull, vb: to rain fine rain

ombrifuge, n: a shelter against the rain

ombrology, n: the study of rain (also known as hyetology)

oncome, n: persistent heavy rain or snow (also known as on-ding)

pash, n: a heavy fall of rain or snow

petrichor, n: the pleasant smell that often accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions

pirrie, n: sudden, scudding rain

plash, plout or plump, n: all heavy falls of rain

pula, n: rain - used as a greeting in southern Africa

roke or rug, n: drizzle

scuff, n: a gust of wind or rain

serein or serene, n: fine rain falling from a cloudless sky

slobber, n: sleety rain

smur, n: fine rain

tipple, n: to rain heavily

travado, n: a sudden violent thunderstorm

volley, n: a hailstorm

whisp, n: a sprinkle of rain

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