The forest is usually quiet before the storm.


Is this an English idiom? I can’t seem to find the meaning.

Many thanks,

Hi Cantik

The idiom is “(the) quiet before the storm”.
Click here:
quiet before the storm

there is a phrase “the calm before the storm” which may be the same thing.

This is said in a peaceful and quiet period before a period of activity or trouble

so if you know things are going to be busy and someone says “it nice and quiet isn’t it?”, you could say “its only the calm before the storm”…for example :stuck_out_tongue:
but i’ve never personally heard of the forest phrase…

ps i noticed good old Yankee said “the quiet before the storm…”
and i said calm
you can also use the word “lull”

but they all mean the same thing


But I am still wondering about the forest.

I agree (except with the “old Yankee” bit). :lol:

I’d say ‘the calm before the storm’ and ‘the quiet before the storm’ are variations of the same idiom. I think the more commonly used version is probably ‘the calm before the storm’. However, if you want to use the idiom a bit creatively (as in Cantik’s sentence), then the word ‘quiet’ works better.

Me too to be honest. The thing with English is that there are many well known metaphors and idioms.
But is not unheard of that people change them slightly for whatever reason. maybe it sounds more appropriate to their situation or experiences, but they keep it similar enough so that the listener knows what the original idiom was

for example here, we both went for the same idiom because it was so similiar so we knew what the person was implying.

So its possible that you will come across many idioms and phrases that are changed slightly just by a few but wouldn’t be used by a majority of English speakers. I think that might be the case here, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. My guess is that the person you heard say this phrase is the only person who says it.

Owh? So it can be anything. Cool.

Godzilla is usually calm before the storm…somehow I think this doesn’t work.

he might be, i’ve never met him :stuck_out_tongue:
but no that doesn’t quite work…I think because Godzilla usually IS the storm.

My sentiments exactly.

Thanks Amy and Benjamin!

Hi Cantik

I think this idiom originated as a reference to the weather. There is a period of time not long before a violent storm blows in during which everything becomes unusually calm and still. In particular, there is no wind.

Your sentence actually seems to use the “idiom” pretty literally. If there is no wind, you will not hear any rustling of leaves blowing in the wind, for example. And I believe that right before a big storm, it is not unusual for animals and insects to become very still. Therefore, a forest could become exceptionally quiet right before a storm.

You’re so wise. I always wish I had the patience and actually take my time to think.