A nip in the air

a nip in the air meaning

Photo credit: Janneke Aicher, 2010-2012

I have heard this expression on several occasions and came across it yesterday in a book by Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin,  which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

You say ‘there is a nip in the air‘ when ‘the weather is cold in an unpleasant way’ (MacMillan Dictionary). Alternatively, you can say ‘it’s a bit nippy today’ or ‘the weather is nippy today’.

Some more examples, should you need them:

– As a gambit, the weather is a reassuring icebreaker for strangers on trains and in myriad, awkward lift journeys. It can be a crushingly banal conversational filler. “Hot enough for you?” might evoke the response “glorious, isn’t it?” Or “Brrrrrrr, bit nippy today,” answered by “Brass monkeys!” (BBC)

– The air over us has come all the way from Spitzbergen in the Arctic so no wonder it’s a bit nippy! (BBC)

– The sun may be shining, but there’s still a nip in the air. Slip one of these blazers over a dress or T-shirt and you’re all set for spring (The Guardian).

– Hazel was one of the first trees to recolonise Britain after the last ice age, so they can they can tolerate a nip in the air (The Guardian).

PS. There is another good expression with the word ‘nip‘, but I’ll save it for later.

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One thought on “A nip in the air

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