Many summer metaphors and similes refer to its heat, including:
- It’s the surface of the sun.
- A summer day is a warm hug.
- Today is one big sauna.
- A gift from god.
Some great summer themed idioms include:
- The dog days.
- One sparrow does not a summer make.
Below are all 15 of my favorite examples and explanations of figurative language for the sunniest of seasons!
Summer Metaphors – It is …
1. The Surface of the Sun
When we say that summer is the surface of the sun, we are using exaggeration to get across our point. It emphasizes how hot the days are in summertime. It doesn’t mean summer days are literally as hot as the sun. But it does give us a strong image in our mind of an incredibly hot day.
2. A Warm Hug
While the idea of the summertime being ‘the surface of the sun’ gives us this idea of unbearable heat, the ‘warm hug’ gives us a sense of great comfort. You might envisage a pleasantly warm day here, perhaps with a light warm breeze.
This is an example of personification. Summer is not literally hugging you – only humans (and perhaps some animals) can do this. But, the personification of the season is used to explain a sensation we have when we feel the warmth of the sun.
3. One Big Sauna
Above, we’ve seen a blazing hot season and a warm summer’s day. But the idea of summer as ‘one big sauna’ invokes the idea of extreme humidity. Here, we might be thinking of areas of the world like Indonesia where the air is stiflingly hot.
Some people might consider this to be lovely, while others might find it stifling. You could use this phrase to explain your desire to spend your time by the water where you can wash off the humidity and enjoy the cooling effect of the water or pool.
4. A Breath of Fresh Air
This can be used both metaphorically and literally. Literally, walking outside on a beautiful warm day can feel quite fresh. You take a breath of the clean outdoor air, and revel in how nice it is compared to the stuffy indoor air you’ve been breathing all winter.
But it can also be used as a metaphor or idiom as a way of describing something that is a nice change. And sometimes, summer is a lovely change from the cool months that precede it.
5. God’s Gift
Summer is not literally a gift. But to say that it is a gift form the creator is to imply that it is something that’s lovely, and perhaps even a reward for surviving the winter. It’s another positive interpretation of the summer. A person who would use this metaphor would likely be a lover of the warm weather and the outdoors.
6. A Ray of Hope on the Horizon
Something that is ‘a ray of hope’ is a small thing that gives you hope through bad times. And when you’re in the middle of a cold February and entering a chilly March, you know summer is just a few months away.
So, someone might say “Summer is a ray of hope on the horizon”. Here, they are referring to the idea that they feel hopeful and positive about the future because they can see that winter will be ending soon. It doesn’t mean summer is literally a ‘ray’ of anything, but rather the idea of summer coming soon gives you a hopeful feeling.
7. Summer Tickles your Skin
This is an example of personification. Clearly, only people can intentionally tickle! But to say that it’s the summer that’s doing the tickling is to give it a human-like trait.
In this situation, you can imagine that sense of tickling that you get when lying out in the warm summer sun and you can literally feel your skin heating up. It can give a tingling feeling that feels a lot like when someone tickles you.
8. A Time Machine to my Youth
Summertime in your youth can be some of the most nostalgic moments of your life. Sometimes the middle of the summer, you can close your eyes while lying out in the sun and feel like you’ve been transported back to those amazing times. The feeling of the sun’s rays, the long days and late sunsets, can invoke nostalgia for the past.
So to say these long warm days are the ‘time machine to your youth’ is a way of saying you can almost feel like you have been transported back to happier more carefree days of childhood.
Summer Similes – It is Like…
For similes, we say use comparative terms such as like and as good as in our figurative language.
9. Like a Long Delicious Desert
To say that summer is a long delicious desert is to refer to it as something that you enjoy and savor. Imagine sitting down to a beautiful banana split and spending all afternoon eating it and savoring it.
You can see how this might be a bit like laying out in the sun and savoring the sun’s rays tickling your skin. It’s something you can also savor and enjoy like a nice delicious meal.
10. As Hot as a Volcano
To say that summer is as hot as a volcano is to draw a similarity between the heat of summer and the heat of a volcano. Given that volcanos can get up to 1,250 degrees Celsius, this is clearly another example of hyperbole. Not even the hottest day of the year will be nearly that hot. But this sort of figurative language does create a great image in the mind of a super hot day.
Summer Themed Idioms
Read Also: A List of Nature Idioms
11. One Swallow does not make a Summer
This idiom means that just because one good thing has happened it doesn’t mean other good things are going to follow.
For example, you might say it when someone starts feeling good that they are getting good grades at college. You can use this idiom – one swallow does not make a summer – to indicate that just getting one good grade doesn’t mean you’ll get good grades next time.
Literally, this idiom refers to the idea that when you see a swallow arriving from migration for the summer, it doesn’t mean the summer has arrived. You need to wait to see all the swallows before you really know summer has arrived!
12. The Dog Days
The idea that summer’s hottest days are the ‘dog days’ goes all the way back to Greek and Roman culture. Late July was when Sirius (known as the dog star) would rise just before the sun. These also happened to be the hottest days of the year, so the association stuck.
Summer metaphors, similes and idioms can help explain the amazing nostalgia of beautiful long mid-July days. But they can also be used to explain the discomfort you can feel on a scorching hot day.
If none of the examples of figurative language used on this list is useful for your situation, feel free to make up your own metaphors and similes! Simply find strong connections between the feeling you get on a hot day and other (perhaps unrelated) things that invoke similar feelings!
I’m a Scorpio, I love the outdoors, and I’ve written articles in some major online publications like Medium and The Weekly. My favorite metaphor? Anything that’s got to do with baseball. I’m fascinated by the fact our language has baseball weaved all through it. Read more about me here.