Learn English idioms | Raining cats and dogs

English idioms are colourful expressions we use that have a special meaning. What does it mean in English when we say it's raining cats and dogs? It's a funny expression, right? Watch this video lesson and find out more about English idioms...

Here's another good explanation from Funk-e Studios. The origin is slightly different but it still comes from more or less the same place...

What are your favourite English idioms? Tell us in the comments below...

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

It's raining cats and dogs. This is a very colourful, interesting expression and again, a very typical British expression, it's raining cats and dogs. So let's say, for example, it's a holiday, you've got a day off from work or from school and unfortunately, it's typical in England when you have a holiday that it starts raining. So you get excited about going out, going to the countryside or going to the beach and doing something outside and you open the curtains, you look outside and you see it's raining cats and dogs, it's raining really heavily. We don't use this expression for light rain, this means very heavy rain. It's raining so heavily you need an umbrella or maybe it's best if you just stay at home. It's raining cats and dogs. So you could say something like, "I'm not going out today, it's raining cats and dogs out there!"

There are many different ideas for where the expression came from. One explanation I've heard is that many, many years ago there were lots of cats and dogs living in the street and when they wanted to keep warm and dry they used to go to the top of a house into the roof and they used to hide in the roof and this was supposed to be a good place for cats and dogs to hide when the weather was bad, because it was warm and dry. But the problem was when the rain came and it rained really heavily the rain used to go through the roof and wash everything in the roof out into the street, even the cats and dogs! So when the rain was really heavy the cats and dogs came down from the rooves with the rain, so, people said ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’.

raining-cats-and-dogs.jpg