In the Netherlands we have a term for when for example you're biking on the streets and you have the wind in the back. We call that wind meewind, and we say we have meewind (translated as wind with).

We also have a term for when we have to cycle against the wind. We call that wind tegenwind (literally translated as wind against). We arrive faster at our destination via bike when we have meewind.

Does the English also have two words to describe these two versions of wind?

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    We use the periphrastic 'with the wind at [my] back'. Then there's headwind (against) / tailwind. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 7 '20 at 20:12
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    "Tailwind" is a beloved term to cyclists in the US (while "headwind" is considerably less beloved). – Hot Licks Jan 7 '20 at 22:49
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    "With a following wind" is another possibility. – Kate Bunting Jan 8 '20 at 9:51
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    fyi, this question would have easily be solved just by trying meewind and tegenwind in google translate. it gives the correct translation – Ivo Beckers Jan 8 '20 at 15:20
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    "we have a term for when ... you're biking on the streets and you have the wind in the back" - We have a term for that too; it's called "dreaming" – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jan 8 '20 at 16:30

The terms are most often heard in connection with aviation (flying), but it would not be incorrect to say that one is riding “with a tailwind” (meewind) or “into a headwind” (tegenwind).

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    No need to hedge. Tailwind is used in cycling: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/44967/… – Juhasz Jan 7 '20 at 20:54
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    Not to mention sailing, and pretty much any other activity involving wind. – terdon Jan 8 '20 at 13:10
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    @Juhasz: And just to avoid any doubt, headwind is also very widely used in cycling. – PLL Jan 9 '20 at 10:30
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    @Juhasz - No it's not. I've never had a tailwind; I've just had days when I've been awesome. Headwinds I get all the time... It's explained beautifully by this answer on the question you linked. ;) – AndyT Jan 9 '20 at 11:42
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    @terdon agreed: Headwind and tailwind are definitely the generally correct terms and I would not consider them "aviation terms": you hear them used constantly in coverage of many Olympic events (winter and summer) for their impact on results in Ski jumping, long jumping, 100m dash (here it's a wash between competitors in one heat but can affect olympic/world record eligibility), etc. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_assistance for example usage in this context – Steven Jackson Jan 9 '20 at 21:42

The other answer of headwind/tailwind is absolutely correct to describe the wind itself, but you could also describe directions relative to the wind as upwind and downwind. Moving in an upwind direction means moving into the wind, which itself could then be described as a headwind. Moving downwind means moving in the same direction as the wind, which can then be described as a tailwind. Other terms to describe direction with respect to the wind are windward (upwind) and leeward (downwind). One rides windward into a headwind, and leeward with a tailwind.

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    I've only heard 'windward' and 'leeward' used in relation to geographical features (typically mountains). The refer to which side of the mountain you are relative to the prevailing wind direction, not which direction you are facing. This site explains it well and coincidentally says the corresponding terms in dutch are 'loef' and 'lij'. – JimmyJames Jan 8 '20 at 20:27
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    @JimmyJames It's also used commonly in sailing parlance. Turning windward means pointing the boat into the wind (tacking), and turning leeward mean point the boat the same direction as the wind. With a constant wind, the windward and leeward sides of the boat are determined entirely by your heading, so it's an entirely relative term that depends only on what direction you're facing. Windward and leeward sides are fixed for a non-moving object with constant winds, but not for something that can change heading. See rcyc.ca/Doc-Types/Know-Your-Rules/KYRules-March-2012.aspx – Nuclear Hoagie Jan 8 '20 at 20:36
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    Upwind and downwind usually refer to the position of something, not the direction of travel. You mention sailing, surely it's "into/against the wind" and "before/with the wind". After all, you can't sail upwind . – Weather Vane Jan 9 '20 at 18:49
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    @WeatherVane You can use upwind and downwind to describe a position or direction, just like any other directional term. I don't see any particular differences between "the animal is to the north", "I am sailing to the north", "the animal is upwind", and "I am sailing upwind". No clue what you mean about not being able to sail upwind, it's called tacking. – Nuclear Hoagie Jan 9 '20 at 19:02
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    That's the reason for tacking: you can't sail upwind. And "leeward" is definitely a sailing term, not a bicycling term. A "lee shore". Unless you are on a pedalo. – Weather Vane Jan 9 '20 at 19:04

In football (I mean the kind when the ball is kicked rather than carried or passed) if you win the toss, it is better to not play "against the wind".

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