On Sunday I visited Bakewell, a small town in the Peak District, with a friend. It rained on and off all day and we were trying to decide whether the rain could be described as drizzle or mizzle, a word I hadn’t heard before. Apart from a few brief heavy showers, it rained lightly most of the time – something I would describe as drizzle.
According to Weather Online:
Mizzle is a term used in Devon and Cornwall for a combination of fine drenching drizzle or extremely fine rain and thick, heavy saturating mist or fog. While floating or falling the visible particles of coarse, watery vapor might approach the form of light rain.
Etymology: from the Frisian mizzelen (drizzle)
According to the Oxford Dictionary, mizzle is mainly a dialect word meaning ‘light rain or drizzle’; or ‘to rain lightly’, and it comes from late Middle English.
The Free Dictionary defines mizzle as:
- (verb) To rain in fine, mistlike droplets; drizzle.
- (noun) A mistlike rain; a drizzle.
- (verb, British slang) To make a sudden departure
Have you come across mizzle before?