The Origin of "Raining Cats and Dogs"

The Origin of “Raining Cats and Dogs “Image: Pexels

“It’s Pouring Cats and Dogs”: Unraveling the Origins of a Peculiar Phrase

Take a moment to appreciate the vivid imagery and history encapsulated within the phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs.”

The Origin of "Raining Cats and Dogs"

The Origin of “Raining Cats and Dogs “Image: Pexels

When the rain descends in torrents, battering against rooftops and flooding streets, many of us might exclaim, “It’s pouring cats and dogs!” But have you ever wondered about the peculiar origins of this expressive phrase and its curious connection to our beloved pets?

Where does the phrase come from?

The phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” is believed to have roots dating back to the 17th century. Its exact origin remains shrouded in mystery, but several compelling theories attempt to explain its colorful imagery.

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What do theories say about Cats and Dogs?

One theory links Norse mythology, tying dogs to Odin and cats to storms, to the phrase’s origin. It suggests Odin’s dogs as winds and cats as heavy rains converging in a storm. Another theory traces the phrase back to the filthy conditions of streets in 17th-century England. In heavy rain, streets became rivers carrying debris, even deceased cats and dogs. One theory suggests the phrase came from Norse mythology, tying dogs to Odin and cats to storms.

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Interestingly, the phrase’s association with pets might not be as direct as it seems. The use of “cats and dogs” in this expression likely stems from their symbolic representation rather than a literal meaning. Throughout folklore and language, people have long linked cats and dogs with various elements. They might have selected cats, often seen as mysterious and associated with magic, to represent the unpredictability of storms. Dogs, known for their loyalty and protection, could symbolize the ferocity of heavy rain or even the sound of thunder resembling barking.

The use of Cats and Dogs in English language

Over time, this idiom has transcended its origins to become a widely used expression in the English language, signifying extremely heavy rainfall or a sudden downpour. The phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” has a fascinating history, but it’s not about animals falling from the sky. It reflects how language changes, influenced by different cultures.

When it rains, see the history in “it’s raining cats and dogs,” adding charm to chats and tying us to the past.

Artificial Intelligence assisted in compiling this article.