Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Raining cats and dogs

Raining cats and dogs is an English idiom meaning especially heavy rain.

I am relieved to read in Wikipedia that "raining animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon". It tells us that the animals most likely to drop from the sky are fish, frogs and birds, in that order. Curious.

But the idea of it raining "cats and dogs" is wonderfully nonsensical. I love the humour there.

We use lots of rain words in the UK. Some for fine rain, like drizzle - also what you do with the olive oil on your tomatoes - and spitting - a light rain as well as an unsociable behaviour.

For heavy rain, you can say it's pouring, just like what you do with a bottle of Rioja into a wine glass, or it's chucking (i.e. throwing) it down which makes me think of someone up above filling and emptying a bucket.

Nonsensical. Incongruous, inviting ridicule.

1 comment:

  1. How true. Today we had all those types of rain in one hour!