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It appears that MSN Weather has chosen an amusing adjective (from my British point of view) for the weather today:


I'm assuming the precipitation (sadly) won't contain any hundreds-and-thousands. To a British person, what is this equivalent to: drizzle, mizzle or deluge?

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What are "hundreds-and-thousands"? – JSBձոգչ Nov 29 '11 at 17:46
First time I've seen it too. I suppose it's what our meteos call spits and spots. – Barrie England Nov 29 '11 at 17:48
Hundreds-and-thousands are a sweet. Think sprinkles on a cupcake. – MετάEd Nov 29 '11 at 18:06
Hundreds-and-thousands aren't really "a sweet". They're what Brits call the cake topping @Dusty linked to. In the UK, sprinkles are usually salad sprinkles (toasted seeds, bacon-flavoured crumbs, etc.) scattered on/in green salad. – FumbleFingers Nov 29 '11 at 22:13
@Fumble: In London, I only come across sprinkles at an ice-cream van, where they are hundreds-and-thousands or something similar. – Henry Nov 29 '11 at 22:59
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Use of sprinkle to describe a light fall of rain is fine in both varieties. Sprinkling is also used in AmE.

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More than a drizzle, less than light rain. – Monica Cellio Nov 29 '11 at 20:00
Never heard that before (anywhere). I speak AmE. Sounds vaguely...wrong. – Mitch Nov 29 '11 at 20:21
I speak AmE, and have definitely heard the verb (i.e., it's sprinkling). The noun sounds less familiar. – Peter Shor Jan 28 '12 at 12:42
I have heard it quite a bit in Southern California, but not on the East Coast. My theory is that Californians are more accustomed to having yard sprinklers (year-round), and have a sense of their output (which I would define the same as @MonicaCellio ), whereas those in the damp East do not. – choster Jan 28 '12 at 16:55

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