Calcium Products - It's Raining Cats and Dogs
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It's Raining Cats and Dogs




This is a reader request, Thanks for submission Gudrun, a Calcium Products pocket knife is on its way to you. This idiom however did not orginate on the farm...

Meaning: Raining very heavily

Origin:  The expression first appeared in print in a modified form in 1653. Richard Brome's comedy 'The City Wit or The Woman Wears the Breeches', referred to stormy weather with the line: "It shall raine.....dogs and polecats".

The origin seems to stem from the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England. Heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. The animals didn't fall from the sky, but the sight of dead cats and dogs floating by in storms could well have caused the coining of this colorful phrase. Jonathan Swift described such an event in his satirical poem 'A Description of a City Shower', first published in the 1710 collection of the Tatler magazine.

             Sweeping from butchers’ stalls, dung, guts, and blood;
             Drown’d puppies, stinking sprats, all drench’d in mud,
             Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the flood

The first appearance of the currently used version (Its Raining Cats and Dogs) is in Jonathan Swift’s 'A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation' writen in 1738: “… though he was sure it would rain cats and dogs".
The fact that Swift had alluded to the streets flowing with dead cats and dogs some years earlier and now used 'rain cats and dogs' is good evidence that poor sanitation was the source of the phrase as we now use and that Swift my be quoting an expression he himself had created.
Farm Sayings Friday is weekly feature of Yield Starts Here. You might think your grandparents made it up, but that old saying likely goes back many years. In this feature we will figure out who said it first and what it really means! Do you have a well used saying in your family, send to us and we'll feature it in a future blog.
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