Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Bit Black Over Bill's Mother's

A weather-related blog post

You've got to feel sorry for Bill's Mother this summer. For those of you who are bemused by this statement, it is the local slang for describing that darkening sky that precedes a downpour. I have no idea where it comes from and have found a number of conflicting explanations on the Internet. If anyone knows its derivation then please do tell!

So far this summer apart from one really lovely hot day, which, if I'm not mistaken, was a Wednesday some time in June, I've lost count of the number of times I've said,

      "Ey Up! It's a bit black over Bill's Mother's!" followed by a cloud burst of rain.

The scene shown below was the state of the sky from the kitchen window about half an hour ago. This was followed by rain which was followed by sun which will, no doubt, be followed by more exclamations of regret for Bill's Mother.

I wonder what we would talk about, here in the UK, if it wasn't for the weather.


  1. Hi Ros ... gosh it doesn't look good or sound good .. I was friends in Newport Pagnell and we came up to Birmingham for a day - it was very hot then and hotter the following week (your day I suspect!) ...

    What an amazing phrase ... and it's just started raining here! Love the saying ... and I wonder where it does come from - must be a local thing ... some old witch, who lived for many a year and it always rained??

    Fun saying though - fascinating to read about it ... dialect ... I hope we're going to get some more sun next week ... we've had about a fortnight's worth, when it was really hot - well for this country - and I was glad I didn't live in London any more, nor did I need to do much!

    Take care ... love the trees ... cheers Hilary

  2. send Bill's Mother to Texas please. I could use a cloudburst right this second. It's not just in the UK - weather discussion is key to life. I like that expression and it would be fun to hear it said live. Amusing post

  3. Is that a local phrase, Ros - it's not reached deepest Wiltshire, and I don't remember it from my London childhood. However, as it's so wonderful, I think I ought to introduce it. Bill's Mother would look particularly alarming looming over our Downs.

  4. I heard this as a child. Not said by MY mother, far too posh. Also, if there's enough blue to make a sailor a pair of trousers, it will be a fine day. It has been a miserable summer so far (pace a tiny hot spot) and tigh nw, Bill's mother is suffering again...

  5. Not local to you I'm afraid. My Yorkshire mother used to say it - though it was Will's mother, not Bill's.

  6. I love it! What a great expression! Somehow I don't think I could use it here, though. By the way, the weather is also the subject of most discussions here in Holland, but then our weather is just a day behind yours, so…. let's all hope Bill's mother has a holiday too!


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