Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Raining Cats and Dogs here today!

It is raining cats and dogs here today. Don't you just love that old saying!! My Grandmother always used to say that and so did alot of my older relatives. I was curious as to how that phrase originated so I went to and looked it up. Here are some things I found on there:

It comes from mythology. Witches, who often took the form of their familiars - cats, are supposed to have ridden the wind. Dogs and wolves were attendants to Odin, the god of storms and sailors associated them with rain. Well, some evidence would be nice. There doesn’t appear to be any to support this notion.

Cats and dogs were supposed to be washed from roofs during heavy weather. This is a widely repeated tale. It got a lease of life with the message "Life in the 1500s", which began circulating on the Internet in 1999. Here’s the relevant part of that:

I’ll describe their houses a little. You’ve heard of thatch roofs, well that’s all they were. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. They were the only place for the little animals to get warm. So all the pets; dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs, all lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery so sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Thus the saying, "it’s raining cats and dogs."

This is nonsense of course. It hardly needs debunking, but, lest there be any doubt...

Dogs lived in thatched roofs? No, of course they didn’t. Even accepting that mad idea, for them to have slipped off when it rained they would have needed to be on the outside - hardly the place an animal would head for to shelter from bad weather.

The phrase is supposed to have originated in England in the 17th century when city streets were filthy and heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals.

The idea that seeing dead cats and dogs floating by in storms would cause people to coin this phrase is just about believable. People may not have actually thought the animals had come from the sky, but might have made up the phrase to suit the occasion.

Another suggestion is that it comes from a version of the French word, catadoupe, meaning waterfall.

Well, again. No evidence. If the phrase were ’raining cats’ or if there also existed a French word, dogadoupe we might be going somewhere with this one. As there isn’t let’s pass this by.

Hope you enjoyed this little bit of knowledge! Have a great day!


Brit Gal Sarah said...

Yes we use this phrase too and it's a fave, also love that piccie.

Florence and Mary said...

Love the info on this well know saying!

Victoria xx

Karen said...

Love the picture!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!