We had quite a rain storm yesterday, lots of heavy rain. We found ourselves saying, “WOW! It’s raining cats and dogs!” We know you’ve probably heard that phrase before or might even say it yourself, right? Have you ever wondered about where that saying came from?
There is no record, at least we’re not aware of an incident where it rained cats and dogs with the animals actually falling from the sky. At times, small frogs and fish get carried toward the sky in bad weather, however, we’ve never seen frogs and fish being lifted towards the sky. Have you?
“Raining cats and dogs” means raining heavily. It seems that back in old England, at times the city streets would become more like raging rivers that carried lots of dead cats and dogs.
We read that the phrase could have originated from mythology where dogs were depicted as attendants of Odin the storm god, and cats caused the storms.
The Greek phrase, “cata doxa” which we read online to mean “contrary to experience or belief” may account for the phrase if it’s raining cats and dogs then it’s raining unbelievably hard. We searched Google Translate for the phrase “cata doxa” and found Galician to be detected as the language with the English translation as “tasting doxa.” Huh? Ok, now we’re confused! So we searched “doxa” and this time Haitian Creole language was detected with the English translation being “Doxa.” Yes, with a capital D. One more search…this time “cata doxa” but we chose the language to be Greek. Results came back with a – Did you mean: “katá dóxa” with the English translation to mean “against glory.” Ok, enough looking up the phrase “cata doxa” as we’re really confused now!
Continuing our search, we found that others thought that cats and dogs were washed off of rooftops during heavy storms way back when the houses had roofs made of thatch. The thick straw roofs provided cats and dogs with a place to stay warm. Of course when a heavy rain came, the animals would fall off of the roof because the straw became slippery.
Even the Library of Congress doesn’t know the true origin of the phrase. So, at this point we’re not sure where the phrase came from. All we know is that it’s a phrase that we use and to us it means a heavy rain or rainstorm. What about you, do you use this vintage phrase? Even more, do you happen to know where it came from?