Can somebody please explain this to me?


It has been raining a lot here the past two days (thanks, again, Fay), which is great because we really need it. But, everybody always has to comment on the rain.

“Wow, it’s really wet out there.”

“It sure it coming down outside.”

And my favorite…

“It’s raining cats and dogs.”

Why? What does this really mean? How can cats and dogs relate to rain?

So, I’m putting this on you, offer me your best explanation for this literary device. And, I’m not even sure what it is. Simile (no, it doesn’t use like or as), metaphor, alliteration? What?

Don’t cheat, either. There are some silly explanations already out there, but I want yours! There *might* be a small prize for the best answer, too.

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  1. i don’t have the answer friend but i am guilty of saying it. how sad is that?

  2. No idea! I’ve heard why before though but I forgot. I never pay attention.

    I get convo’s like these in the elevator when no one has much to say but feels to need to interrupt my silence. Boo!

  3. I dont get it either… as if you DIDNT notice the pouring rain when you went outside that morning?? haha – but I guess its a way to break the uncomfortable silience sometimes 🙂 maybe there was an abundence of stray cats and dogs or something?? haha I have no idea… thats the best I can do!

  4. Lol! You crack me up!!

    I have never thought about it before, but since I am now…

    Maybe because cats and dogs don’t get along. And if it’s raining really bad it’s a bad storm. Like what you would get if you put a cat and a dog together. In the same room.

    Lol! That probably makes no sense…but I love your new layout!

  5. obviously it’s because cats and dogs pee alot so it’s always raining when they are near.

    hmmmm well maybe not but it’s the best i can do without cheating

  6. I actually have no idea! But I will say that people around here (I live very close to atlanta, the southern ‘burbs if you will) get all crazy about the weather. Snow, rain, sleet, hail … it gets everyone in a huge tizzy. They act like they have never seen any sort of precipitation!!!!

  7. In ancient times, when droughts would occur, the Kings believed that a sacrifice to the rain gods was needed, and the chosen sacrifice was a cat. But as we all know, the afterlife needs to be quite similar to the present life, so they would sacrifice dogs as well, to chase the cats in the afterlife and maintain the harmonious battle. Now it was believed that when it rained REALLY HARD, it was the souls of these felines and canines, coming back to find their "people"… thus now we say it's raining cats & dogs.

  8. says:

    I'm loving the new design. I have no idea why it's cats & dogs – but it is a metaphor.

  9. Ok, see, it’s about the great storm of 1920 where the wind was so strong and it rained so hard that pets were being blown around…so literally cats and dogs were flying around.

    Ok, maybe not. hehe

    It’s all about the aliens.

  10. I am trying to think of something really creative, and even as an English teacher, I’ve got nothing!!!! Maybe it’s supposed to relate to the amount of babies cats and dogs have in one litter? They get knocked up pretty easily…never heard of a cat or dog having to get fertility drugs…so maybe it should actually be it’s raining puppies and kittens???? Honestly, it makes no sense to me!

  11. Not quite sure what it means. Maybe it has to do with breeding season and in the spring when it rains a lot, lots of dogs and cats are falling out of their mamas, lol…I have no idea.

  12. Cats and dogs are plentiful in our society due to their ability to multiply so effectively. If left to do so they would take over with all of their multiplying. An old farmer once made the statement that it was literally raining cats and dogs on his large farm. The person who overheard it thought it was a cute phrase and during the next rainstorm applied the phrase to actual rain. It caught on and that is why we hear the phrase today.
    That is my story and I am sticking to it!

  13. I cheated and here’s the real answer:

    BUT my mom always told me that when it rained cats and dogs outside, it was because me and my sister were fighting and God was killing all our kitties and puppies that could be ours. Sick I know, but we stopped fighting when it was raining (we lived in Seattle) so we could make sure no cats and dogs were falling from the sky cuz of us!!
    How’s that for original!? Leave it to my mom!

  14. I am new to your blog, but having taught this lesson in my second grade classroom last spring, I’ll take a stab!
    ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’ is an idiom. I think the animals on the thatched roof explanation is the correct one.

    Funny post!

  15. Mommy of 3 says:

    I COULDN’T HELP IT! I HAD TO CHEAT! (sorry.) so here are the B.S. answers that I found: “”One supposed origin is that the phrase derives from mythology. Dogs and wolves were attendants to Odin, the god of storms, and sailors associated them with rain. Witches, who often took the form of their familiars – cats, are supposed to have ridden the wind””……OR……..””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.”…..hmmmm…..who knows;-)

  16. Maybe it’s because cats and dogs fight and it’s really loud when they do, just as it is when it rains really hard. Lame, but it’s my best guess.

  17. MamaGeek @ Works For Us says:

    It’s cuz cats and canines pee so much, mostly where they’re not supposed to.


  18. Ha. You are so right…. where did they get that saying from? And what were they thinking?

  19. I can explain “Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite’ but I have no idea why they say “raining cats and dogs” Sorry

  20. NO Idea about the Cats and Dogs without google…so I will not cheat! WE so needed this RAIN though! Have your ever heard….Man it is raining FROGS? Yeah that made me scratch my head.

    Have a great DAY!

  21. I’m not going to cheat…
    But back in 1873 a brother and sister were arguing all day long.. mom was exhausted from the bickering back and forth and decided that she didn’t give the kids enough chores…..

    Upon canning her last bit of green beans the kids came in whirling around the kitchen and the hot jars.. because of the ruckus the kids broke many jars of the canned beans…not only was it ruined it fell on the quilt that was being patched for the up and coming winter months…

    Totally ticked mom sent the kids out to the barn to muck out the horse stalls.. of course they didn’t want to obey.. so they decided to head to the top of the barn and play around the hay bales…

    Things started getting out of hand again with the kids and they were grabbing hay by the handfuls and throwing them out the high door….
    As mom was coming out to check on them.. the kids were getting way out of hand and throwing more hay out in a wild manner.. without knowing it.. the kids were grabbing teenie tiny baby pups and kittens and throwing them out with the hay bales…. JUST AS MOM was WALKNG UNDER… Here reply???

    Lordy.. it’s raining cats and dogs….!!! ( of course no animals were hurt while writing this story)…

    From then on.. anytime it rained.. the kids would giggle and reply “it’s raining cats and dogs”…

    This was passed on from generation.. to generation… and beyond….

    The End

    Ok.. now don’t make fun of my story…

  22. I. got. nothing.
    But I enjoyed all your comments immensely.

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