Joseph’s English Corner
Then, another of the most common thoughts is that it is because dogs and cats lived in thatched roofs so they could stay warm. When it rained, the cats and dogs would fall out of the roof or off of the roof. This is not true either.
Instead, I believe that the phrase has to do with unsanitary conditions in the 1600s and 1700s. In a 1710 publication of Tatler magazine, Jonathan Swift’s poem,A Description of a City Shower, was published in which appears ”Drown’d Puppies, all drench’d in Mud,
In other words, the unsanitary conditions of those times meant that the bodies of dead animals, including cats and dogs, would be carried in the water flowing in the city streets.
Then, in 1738, Jonathan Swift did use the phrase “rain cats and dogs” in A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation. Being that he had written about the bodies of the animals flowing in the streets earlier makes this origin of the phrase believable and credible.
So there you have it! The origin of “It’s raining cats and dogs”!
Stay dry and see you here again next week!
1. Poodle = A type of dog which sounds like “puddle” (a small pool of dirty water)
2. Thatched roofs = Roofs made from grass, leaves, and straw
3. Unsanitary = Dirty; Unclean
4. Drown’d = Drowned = To die by sinking into water and being unable to breathe
5. Puppies = Baby dogs
6. Drench’d = Drenched = Covered in
7. Turnip = A type of root vegetable
8. Tumbling down = Falling down