Spring is the wonderful time of year when plants and flowers blossom and the dark, cold winter nights get brighter and longer. Many languages have idioms and expressions about spring. To celebrate we’ve created a list of some of our favourites. They’re lots of fun and great for anyone looking to perfect their language skills.
We’re going to start with some English idioms, so you need to know that the word spring has two definitions in the English language. As well as being a season, the word also means ‘to move or jump quickly’. For example, if someone gets out of bed really fast in the morning you might say they ‘sprung out of bed’. Now that you know the basics, take a look at some of our favourite spring idioms.
Spring to mind
This English idiom is used when a thought or idea has occurred to someone.
For example, if you were asked, ‘who is Germany’s best football player?’ you might reply by saying, ‘Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich spring to mind’. Or if someone said, ‘what’s it like in Australia?’ you might say, ‘I’ve never been but barbecues and surfing spring to mind’.
Spring to life
If something or someone springs to life it means it has suddenly become active or busy.
If you visited Barcelona for the weekend and someone asked you what the city is like, you might tell them, ‘Barcelona very quiet during the day but the city springs to life in the evening’. Or if your friend didn’t want to go to the cinema until they knew you were watching Spiderman, you might say, ‘he sprung to life when he found out we were watching a superhero film’.
Spring in one’s step
This lovely English idiom is used when someone is very happy and content.
For example, the day after someone passes their driving test you might say, ‘they have a spring in their step’. Or if your friend has been happier since getting a girlfriend or boyfriend, you could say, ‘ever since they got into a relationship they have had a spring in their step’.
English isn’t the only language with phrases about spring, or that have expressions using the word. German, French, Spanish, Italian and many more languages have their own expressions. And, unlike English, lots of their phrases are about the season of spring.
April, April, der macht was er will
The direct English translation of this expression is, ‘April, April, it does whatever it wants’.
It means that the weather in the month of April is unpredictable, one day it could be hot and sunny but the next day it could be raining. For example, lots of European countries could experience snow in April, while also experiencing high temperatures at around the same time.
En avril, ne te découvre pas d’un fil
This another phrase about April which is similar to ‘April, April, der macht was er will’. The French to English translation is, ‘in April, don’s remove a thread’.
It means that you shouldn’t expect to wear shorts and t-shirts in the month of April because of the unpredictable weather. The expression is another reference to the fact the weather in April could be sunny, rainy, or even snowy.
La primavera è la stagione dell’amore
This brilliant Italian expression translates to, ‘spring is the season of love’.
Italy is known to be a romantic country, which is why this phrase makes so much sense. Italians believe that blossoming flowers and warmer weather means it’s more likely people will fall in love.
We’re not sure whether it’s true or not, but we love the expression!
Een nieuwe lente, een nieuw geluid
The English translation of this Dutch phrase is ‘a new spring, a new sound’.
It’s a reference to the fact there are more animals around in spring, which means you’ll probably hear more sounds. You might wake up in the morning to birds singing or hear bees buzzing around flowers when you’re walking in the park.
In English, this Korean phrase means, ‘the cold envies the flower’.
It means that the season is changing from winter to spring and that the weather is going from cold to warm. People using the expression are saying that the cold winter is jealous of springtime.
We hope you enjoyed this list of fun idioms and phrases. They’re not always so easy to learn, although if you do, you'll sound just like a native speaker!
If you’re trying to master a language then try and use some of our favourites next time you’re speaking. Good luck!
By Barnaby Kellaway
LevelUp Blog Writer
Follow us @letslevelup