Raining Cats and Dogs Examples
If you are a native speaker of the English language, you understand phrases like "raining cats and dogs." We have many phrases like this in the English language that do not mean exactly what you would think if looking at the literal definitions of the words in the phrase.
These types of phrases or expresses are called idioms. An idiom is an expression that means something different from the words that make up the expression. For example, if someone tells you that their new jacket cost "an arm and a leg," that doesn't mean that they had to give up an arm and a leg to get the jacket. It just means that it cost a great deal of money.
The idiom "it's raining cats and dogs" does not mean that cats and dogs are literally falling from the sky. This expression means that it is raining very hard and heavy.
The origin of the idiom "it's raining cats and dogs" is unclear; however, it does show up in the writing of Jonathan Swift in the 1700s, and a similar phrase "it's raining dogs and polecats" shows up in a comedy by Richard Brome in the mid-1600's. The idiom could have been coined for symbolic reasons-cats and dogs do not like each other, so a heavy, violent storm might have been compared to a fight between cats and dogs. It is also speculated that a heavy rain in London would have caused sewers to overflow, leading to dead cats and dogs being washed through the streets.
Regardless of the origin, "it's raining cats and dogs" has become a commonplace idiom in today's English language. If someone tells you that "it's raining cats and dogs," you should definitely plan to wear rain boots and take an umbrella with you when you go out!
Literary Terms Examples