English Idioms about Summer

In America, summer officially ends on September 22nd, though in many places it starts to feel like fall much earlier than that! To make sure we enjoy summer for as long as possible, here are some fun summer idioms!

Ray of sunshine 

A ray of sunshine is something or someone that makes people feel very happy, cheerful or optimistic. 

Alternatively, this can be used ironically or sarcastically to describe someone who is always miserable or pessimistic, and therefore, is exactly the opposite of a ray of sunshine. πŸ˜‚ 


Monday mornings are tough, but when our boss brings us a box of donuts and coffee, it's like a ray of sunshine in the office!

Alice's mother been sick but when Alice takes her puppy to visit her, it brightens her mom's whole day, just like a ray of sunshine!

Brian were very excited about their new apartment until his roommate, Jill, complained about the messy backyard. He said, "Jill, well aren't you just a ray of sunshine?! We can clean it up, don't worry!"

Indian Summer

An Indian summer is period of unseasonably warm weather that sometimes happens in the fall, especially after a cold period. It is usually a nice surprise, because people might not be quite ready for summer to be over yet!

This expression is also used to describe a time late in someone's life that is surprisingly happy, peaceful, or joyful. 


Audrey and her friends were so happy when there was suddenly an Indian summer in October that they all rushed to the beach for one last day in the sun!

After my father passwed away, we were worried that my mother would be lonely, but to our surprise, in her 70's, she met a very nice man and enjoyed quite the Indian summer late into her old age!

A Day at the Beach

A day at the beach is used as a metaphor to mean something that is very enjoyable, pleasant or easy.

You might also hear people say it was no day at the beach, meaning exactly the opposite: a difficult and unpleasant task or experience.

We thought that moving to a new house would be very difficult, but we hired a great moving company, and it turned out that the move was really a day at the beach!

I had to waste my Saturday renewing my drivers license. Between the long lines, the expensive fees, and the crowded waiting room, it was no day at the beach!

Like a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 

This is one of those great visual idioms. A tin roof is made out of material that can get very hot because tin attracts the sun. So, just imagine a cat on a hot tin roof dancing around with his paws burning and you might be able to guess the meaning of this one!

Someone is who acting like  cat on a hot tin roof  is very nervous, anxious, and overall in an very worrisome state of mind.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is also a 1958 American movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, based on the play of the same name.

Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


Kevin didn’t do his homework, so when the teacher called on him to answer a question, he was like a cat on a hot tin roof.

While nervously waiting for the doctor to give her the results of her medical tests, Charlotte paced back and forth across the room like a cat on a hot tin roof

Sink or Swim

Our last one is  sink or swim.  If you dive into the water, there are literally only two choices: to sink or swim. 

Therefore, this idiom means that if you are put in a difficult position and given no help, so it's completely up to you if you fail (sink) or succeed (swim).  


I started a new job but my boss was out sick all week, so I was left to sink or swim!

Sandra didn't speak English very well, but it was her lifelong her dream to see New York City, so she bought a plane ticket anyway and decided it was sink or swim!

After 4 years of college, students graduate and need to find a job on their own. It's time to sink or swim in the real world !

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