Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Morning: Here Come the Cats and Dogs

Photo by Brandon Cripps
This is not a drill. Thursday's going to be wet, raining cats and dogs much of the day. Throw in a chance of a thunderstorm, highs in the lower 60's and Thursday is not the day for a picnic in the park.

Like many phrases, the exact origin of the saying, "it's raining cats and dogs" is not known. One possible origin is that cats and dogs, who spent most of their time outdoors in the pre-suburban world (probably 17th century England), sometimes got washed away during heavy rains, when there was flooding. People saw cats and dogs floating away, and a phrase was born.

There's a minority view that the phrase "raining cats and dogs" came from Norse mythology:  Dogs stood for rain, and cats represented the wind: Dogs were said to be the companions of Odin, the god of storms; cats are familiars of witches and can ride the wind with them.

Another possible, though unlikely, origin has to do with storms sounding like cats and dogs fighting.

There's a lot of mythology surrounding the weather; how storms happened was unknown, and it wasn't until 1765 that weather measurements were first made. Today, fortunately, we know what rain is caused by angel tears being squeezed out by clouds.

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