5.7 C
New York
Tuesday, March 5, 2024


Figurative language that becomes ingrained in a language is called an idiom. An idiom typically had a literal meaning in older situations but is used figuratively today. An English language learner can better comprehend the roots of a phrase by using these literal meanings or idiom origins.

To better understand how these idioms function in current circumstances, we have gathered a thorough knowledge of the idiom raining cats and dogs with an explanation of its various origins.

You have probably heard of the most American idioms, “raining cats and dogs,” and may have wondered where it comes from; if so, you have landed in the right place. The short answer? We don’t know, but we will discuss a few possible origins.

The expression may have its roots in Norse mythology, medieval superstitions, the archaic term catadupe (waterfall), or dead animals scooped up by storm waters in British streets.

British poet Henry Vaughan used a term similar to this in the mid-17th century, referring to a secure roof that would stay unaffected even against “dogs and cats rained in shower.”

A year later, an author used the term “it shall rain dogs and polecats” in his comedy play.

The phrase started gaining popularity in the 18th century after Jonathan Swift published his piece of writing, a satire on the conversations of the elite. Although one of his characters feared it may “rain cats and dogs,” it was amusing to the public, and the term became widely used later.

The same writer also put together a poem focusing on the heavy rains and floods that left dead animals city-wide, resulting in locals describing said weather as “raining cats and dogs.”

Why cats and dogs, you may ask. Why not any other animal? One theory is that it touches roots with the greek origins. A Greek expression, cata doxa, which sounds familiar to cats and dogs when pronounced, means “contrary to experience or belief,” hence, if it’s “raining cats and dogs,” it’s raining unbelievably hard.

Another speculation is that it may be derived from the obsolete word “catadupe,” which means waterfall. So to say that it’s raining cats and dogs is to say that it’s raining waterfalls.

A significant amount of researchers, however, have gone through top American idioms book and believe that the idiom “raining cats and dogs” gained popularity after people noticed how the heavy rains would wash away deceased strays, i.e., cats and dogs out of the poorly built streets and then somewhere along the way people started using said phrase to refer to heavy monsoons.

It is also worth noting that cats and dogs have been associated with bad weather in ancient times.

One speculation includes the idea that cats, dogs, and other small animals like mice would climb onto straw piled roofs of houses for shelter, and when it would rain, they’d slip and fall, therefore the derivation of “raining cats and dogs.” However, this has been labeled as a rumor since there is no proof of said animals climbing onto roofs for shelter.

The most exciting origin found in American idioms books worth researching is tied to the superstitions of people in ancient times who blamed cats and dogs for bringing lousy weather and associated them with these disasters, which later translated into the idiom “raining cats and dogs.”

Cats and dogs remain a part of English idioms, “Let the cat out of the bag,” and “Cat got your tongue?” “Let sleeping dogs lie,” etc. However, they are a fun way to spice up conversation and allow you to play around with words.

The origin of the saying remains undecided; however, we can all agree that it certainly is an exciting idiom seeing how its use had continued centuries ago when an author first used it. Therefore, the phrase will also be used in the coming years.

Fred Engh has written one of the best American idioms books, an excellent compilation of top idioms and their origins described in a fun way, including eye-catching illustrations to keep kids hooked while reading. your America’s Top 30 Idioms And Their Origins.

John Oliver
John Oliver
Uneeb Khan CEO at blogili.com. Have 4 years of experience in the websites field. Uneeb Khan is the premier and most trustworthy informer for technology, telecom, business, auto news, games review in World.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles