Infographic on why we say ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’

Although the idiom has been explained a million times, I don’t think there are many infographics on this so here is one that I have just prepared.

‘Idiom’ – a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the moonsee the light ).

There are other explanations for the origin of this saying which probably fascinates people who use English as a second language. Below the infographic – which presents my favourite explanation – there are some more possibilities.

Why do we say ‘it is raining cats and dogs’. Infographic.
Why do we say ‘it is raining cats and dogs’. Infographic.
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The exact origin of “raining cats and dogs” is a bit of a mystery, but there are a few interesting theories:

  • Mythology: In Norse mythology, Odin, the storm god, was associated with wolves and dogs (wind) while black cats were companions of witches (storms). So, the saying might reflect a storm with heavy rain (cats) and strong winds (dogs).
  • Greek Connection: Some believe “cats and dogs” is a corruption of the Greek word “catadupe” which meant “waterfall.” This could be a way to describe heavy rain like a waterfall.
  • Intensity: Another theory is that “cats and dogs” comes from the Greek phrase “cata doxa” meaning “contrary to belief.” So, it refers to rain that’s incredibly hard, beyond what’s normal.

The first written use of the phrase shows up in the 1600s in England, so it’s definitely an old saying!


1 thought on “Infographic on why we say ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’”

  1. Thanks for this. I find the history of these very old saying interesting. I am not sure you are correct though 😹


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