There are many writers who have fallen in love with nature and the natural world. However, over time they’ve used common phrases to describe their experiences which make it difficult for readers to understand directly what happened or how deeply felt these authors’ emotions were about this topic. Vivid language can take a description from banal (boring/commonplace) to brilliant (brilliantly shiny).
So, although there are many nature-related idioms in the English language that can be used to describe something or someone, here’s a list of some common phrases you should avoid when writing your next paper. We also have examples of more effective descriptions for whatever it is you’re trying to convey whether related directly with nature or not.
What Is a Cliché?
A cliché is a tired, stale phrase or idiom that, because of overuse, has lost its impact. What was once a fresh way of looking at something has become a weak prop for writing that feels unimaginative and dull.
1. Cold as ice
I opened the door, and the wind felt like a knife against my skin.
The wind bit my skin as I opened the door.
2. Small world
The concept of a “small world” was highlighted when two familiar acquaintances met in an unexpected place. The surprise at the coincidence implies that this is common yet it still manages to be surprising each time due to its randomness and unpredictability.
3. As many stars are in the sky
The simile “as infinite as the grains of sand in the Sahara” describes something that is innumerable or countless.
4. As white as snow
The minute he saw her in the crowd, she looked like a snowflake. Her hair was so white it shone against all of that black and gray clothing everyone else wore to this cold concert they were at together. He just wanted to stand close to her, touch those silky strands his fingers had memorized by now . . .
5. Busy as a bee
When writers use the idiom “busy as an ant colony preparing for winter,” it suggests someone or something that is involved in numerous purposeful activities.
6. Out of the woods
The phrase “out of the woods” means to be safe from danger. It is used in writing about a person who has escaped an unsafe place or situation.
The rain fluctuates between drizzle and torrential, making you think that things will never get better–always letting you down right when it seems like everything might actually turn out okay again…
7. Beat around the bush
It’s like a drunk bee avoiding the shortest path between two flowers.
Beat around the bush is an idiom that suggests intentionally avoiding discussing something important, and instead talking about inconsequential topics. It’s similar to how it’d be for someone who was so intoxicated they were flying in circles rather than going directly from one flower to another–which would take less time
8. Grass is always greener on the other side
The unknown situation seems better than or superior to one’s current situation. People always assume they’ll be happier with what they don’t have, something captured by the saying “the grass is greener on the other side.
The metaphor suggests that people are never content with their life and will envy another who may seem luckier because of it.
9. Stick in the mud
A “stick in the mud” is someone who has old-fashioned ideals and doesn’t enjoy trying new things. This person slows the momentum and enthusiasm of others around them, like a wet blanket on an event or activity.
10. When it rains it pours
If you want to make a description of multiple unfortunate events more interesting, try making it unique and creative.
One example is this quote from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: “He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.”