It’s raining cats and dogs

It's raining cats and dogs - English idiom meaning

You may have heard the expression “It’s raining cats and dogs” and wondered what it means.
When someone uses this English idiom, it means that it is raining very heavily. That there is a downpour (heavy rain).

Oh course it has nothing to do with cats, dogs or any other animal falling from the sky. It’s just an idiomatic expression that started a long time ago (nobody is exactly sure how it started) and it continues to be used until today.

You might want to check out more English idioms about the weather.

Or maybe just learn other vocabulary about the weather.


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8 Responses to “It’s raining cats and dogs”

  1. Dat 29 October, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Yeah, I have heard it sometimes and took a lots time to understand it. haha. at first, I thought that is a slang about thing that is very bad.

    • woodward 29 October, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      Well, when you imagine it literally, it would sound bad. Fortunately it isn’t.

      • Dat 31 October, 2012 at 7:56 am #

        I wonder don’t know whether or not you (or native english) often use these idioms. In my language (Vietnamese), we use idioms daily to make sentences more impressive.

        • woodward 3 November, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

          Yes, we use idioms a lot in English though not necessarily to make a sentence more impressive. Interesting to hear what they do in Vietnam.

  2. Suresh 22 April, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    It’s raining cats and dogs instead of that can we say It’s raining dogs and cats?

    • woodward 22 April, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      No, it needs to be in that order. The same goes for the expression, they fight like cats and dogs.

      That is because of a thing in English called Binomials where two words must follow a set sequence when they are joined by the word “and“. In this case the word cats needs to be before dogs.

      Other examples of binomials are:
      Black and white, salt and pepper, bigger and better etc.

      When I get time I will write an article about binomials.

      • Suresh 23 April, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        Thank you very much. Now it gets clear.


  1. Weather, Temperature and Idioms | Woodward English - 6 May, 2013

    […] idioms in English about the weather. We have already talked about the meaning of the idiom “It’s raining cats and dogs” though there are many more that you should know that you will find here: Idioms about the […]

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