Summer Vocabulary – English Collocations and Idioms

Learn some of the English summer vocabulary. These English collocations will help you better describe your summer routines.

Even though we in the UK are getting far too many grey days during the summer, we are still very excited when it finally arrives. Enjoy your summer!

In this post, I also want to focus on popular summer idioms that you can use in your daily English conversations. And you will find them below the infographics.

List of summer collocations and idioms

English summer vocabulary - Summer idioms

keep out of the sun

Example: Be careful when you’re on holiday. Apply lots of sun cream, keep hydrated and keep out of the midday sun if you can.

sit in the sun

Example: I can’t sit in the sun for very long with my fair skin.

the sun is in your eyes

Example: The sun is in my eyes, I can’t see a thing.

shield your eyes from the sun

Example: I wear a wide hat to shield my eyes from the sun.

a drop of rain

Example: Their simple wedding ceremony  couldn’t have been more perfect, and there wasn’t a drop of rain that day.

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

English Collocations about Summer

glorious weather

Example: Yesterday’s match was played in glorious weather with plenty of warm sunshine. 

the best of the weather

Example: It got clearer as I went North, so we must have got the best of the weather. 

feel the heat

Example: I could feel the heat of the sun on my back as I cycled through the park.

escape from the heat

Example: In summer, many people leave the city for the seaside to escape from the heat.

dive into water

Example: He dove into the water and started swimming. 

10 English Summer Idioms

10 English Idioms related to Summer. How to talk about summer in English. Useful phrases. #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

the calm before the storm

Meaning: a quiet period before an expected hectic activity or a period of trouble


It was like the calm before the storm, as I knew difficult times were to come. 

an Indian summer

Meaning: a period of warm, dry weather in the late autumn


Although the Indian summer is expected to bring us summer-like temperatures during September, we are now into the autumn season.

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dog days of summer

Meaning: very hot summer days


The dog days of summer are over and the kids have gone back to school!

full of hot air

Meaning: if someone is full of hot air, they are full of nonsense, they talk a lot without saying anything worthwhile


I did not believe a word she said. She was full of hot air. 

under the sun

Meaning: everything or anywhere in the world


London’s Oxford Street has every shop under the sun, it is always at its busiest on a Thursday.

10 English Idioms related to Summer

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a place in the sun

Meaning: a position that provides you with wealth and happiness, or whatever you have been hoping to achieve in life


He was one of those people who was always looking for his place in the sun.

one swallow doesn’t make a summer

Meaning: one fact or event doesn’t prove the rule, it may be an exception


Their first album was a success, but they know that one swallow doesn’t make a summer and they’re prepared to work hard.

a cold day in July

Meaning: something that will never happen


It’ll be a cold day in July before I buy you a new car.

to be in hot water

Meaning: to be in a lot of trouble


The Minister was in hot water last week after admitting he lied about attending a controversial meeting.

to make hay while the sun shines

Meaning: to not waste time, to take advantage of an opportunity as soon as it arises


Our competitors will catch on to our strategy soon, so let’s make hay while the sun shines.

Summer Vocabulary

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not really an English word but used frequently. Particularly relevant in the summer when a quick “nap” or “forty winks” in the afternoon is just what you need to be ready for a long summer evening.

Nap and forty winks refer to a quick sleep or rest.

a quick dip

If you are feeling a little hot and need to refresh a swim is often a good idea. A quick dip refers to a jump into a pool, river or sea to refresh yourself.

top up the tan

Everyone likes to look good and when the sun shines we can get that “good feeling” with a sun tan. People like to catch the sun rays on a regular basis over the summer to keep the tan looking well naturally.

Twenty minutes in the sun a few times a week may just be enough to top up that tan!

a ninety-nine (a 99)

Ice cream is a great way of cooling down when the sun gets a little too hot. Kids and adults all love the flavours. An old favourite and still available from all the ice cream stalls in UK cities is the 99. It’s a cone with ice cream a chocolate flake stuck into the ice cream and usually some strawberry syrup added. If you haven’t tried it you haven’t lived!!

a Butlin’s holiday

Before flying to the sun became popular and within easy reach of the ordinary man, workers spent their two week summer vacation (usually the first two weeks in August) in a holiday camp organised and run by a company called Butlins. They still operate summer holiday camps in the UK today. They provide accommodation (chalets or small apartments) and entertainment for all the family. A good old British tradition still going strong today.

the bucket and spade

No holiday for the kids was complete without their traditional bucket and spade. These simple tools keep children of all ages occupied for hours on the beaches in any type of weather. Building sand castles and other impressive constructions with the help of Dad (or Mum) of course is a great diversion for all the family.

What is the summer holiday like in your country?

Summer Vocabulary Songs

There are many wonderful songs with beautiful lyrics describing that summer feeling when we throw off the winter/spring clothes and get ready for the warm lazy summer days.

Summertime and the living is easy
Fish are jumping
And the cotton is high

These are the opening lyrics of an old song from an opera called “Summertime” based in the deep southern states of America.


Here comes summer
School is out, oh happy day
Here comes summer
I’m gonna grab my girl and run away
Here comes summer

“Here comes summer” song is a little more upbeat and goes back to 1959!!!

Whatever the year we all look forward to those long hot summer days and endless nights. Here are some words and phrases for your English summer vocabulary that you might just find useful.

More Information

For more information on Phrasal Verbs, English Collocations and English Grammar Rules, check out the following links:

16 Phrasal Verbs with PUSH

English Collocations with Education

Difference between SEEM, LIKE and APPEAR

Free resources are always available at BBC Learning English.

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