It's raining cats and dogs!

Explore the quirky origin of 'it's raining cats and dogs' and learn to use it in conversation!

Alt text

Ever looked out during a big storm and heard someone say, “It’s raining cats and dogs”? It’s a wacky way to say it’s raining really hard, not that fluffy pets are actually splashing down from the sky! Let’s jump into our rain boots and splash through the history of this funny phrase, making English learning as exciting as a puddle-jumping contest!

What does “It’s raining cats and dogs” mean?

When people say “it’s raining cats and dogs,” they mean it’s raining really, really hard. It’s a playful way to describe a downpour of rain that’s so heavy, it feels like fluffy pets are falling from the sky!

So, the next time your little one sees raindrops as big as paw prints outside, you can join in the fun and say, “Wow, it’s really raining cats and dogs out there!”

Where does “It’s raining cats and dogs” come from?

The saying “raining cats and dogs” has a few fun tales tied to it, but unfortunately for all of us, no one is really 100% sure of where it originated.

Some folks think it might have come from old stories where dogs, often seen with the wind, and cats, linked with heavy rains, were believed to influence the weather. Back in the day, English playwrights and poets used similar phrases in their plays and poems. For example, a poet named Henry Vaughan mentioned a roof that was good at keeping out “dogs and cats rained in shower.”

The famous writer Jonathan Swift used it in a poem about city life in 1978, called “Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation”, where the streets flooded after a big storm, making it look like it was raining all sorts of things! He also joked about it in a satire, where a character worried it might “rain cats and dogs.”

How to use “It’s raining cats and dogs”

This phrase is perfect for a rainy day. Here are some fun ways to slip it into conversation:

  • “Can we go to the park?” “Not right now—it’s raining cats and dogs out there!"
  • "Why are you so wet?” “I had to walk home, and it started raining cats and dogs!"
  • "Dad, I forgot my umbrella, and now it’s raining cats and dogs!"
  • "Reading my book by the window during a rainstorm? It’s like it’s raining cats and dogs in the story too!”

Other fun ways to describe heavy rain

If you’ve used “raining cats and dogs” a million times, try these other giggle-worthy phrases:

  • Pouring buckets: Like someone’s tipping giant buckets of water over our heads!
  • A torrential downpour: So much rain, it’s like the clouds are emptying all at once!
  • Raining like crazy: For when it’s just so rainy, you can hardly believe it!

Ideas to Practice “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs”

Rainy days are perfect to turn into memorable adventures! Grab some rain boots and umbrellas, and head outside to splash in puddles while shouting, “It’s raining cats and dogs!” Or cozy up indoors with a hot cocoa and read a book about magical rainstorms.

Or grab your crayons and draw a wild, watery scene where it looks like it’s really raining cats and dogs. Maybe add some boots and umbrellas flying around!

Feel up for some acting? Pretend you’re a weather reporter caught in a “raining cats and dogs” storm. What would you say? How would you stay dry?

You could also try writing a short story about a day when it rained cats and dogs. What happened? Did the characters have fun puddle-jumping or did they stay cozy inside?

When it’s pouring outside, the world of imagination is your toy box! So, the next time the skies open up and it starts pouring, you can giggle and say, “Look, it’s raining cats and dogs!” and imagine all those pets having a wild time up in the clouds.

Let’s make every rainy day an adventure in learning and laughing!