Raining cats and dogs

“Dang, look at that! It’s raining cats and dogs out there!”

“Oh really? Are puppies and kitties literally falling from the sky? Let me check weather.com to see if we’re expecting a shower of Schnauzers. ”

“Shaddup Mathmagian, you’re ruining the intro into my blog.”

“Whatever, b*tches be cray cray.”

Ok, that conversation didn’t actually happen, but if it did, I would’ve rotfl. For serious.

Anyway, have you ever wondered why that phrase  (raining cats and dogs not cray cray) exists? Why is it a cliche? Why shouldn’t you use it in your writing?

Why is his umbrella all bumped, but nary even a kitten is on it? Do they bounce? Are these special

Why is his umbrella all bumped, but nary even a kitten is on it? Do they bounce? Are these special

I was pondering this myself. Google told me about several different ideas, but I liked The Phrase Finder‘s best.  They postulate in the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England, heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. Grisly stuff.

The way these cliches became so old, because so many people liked it and used it. A lot. It’s like having that one band that you love so hard, and then EVERYBODY starts listening to them and now they are the 1970s without Tom Selleck’s ‘stache. Lame.

When you think about it, some cliches must have been awesome when first heard. “All’s fair in love and war.” Such a powerful statement, but incredibly overworked. Writers are constantly trying to reinvent language, striving for innovation and creativity. I like to try to make it interesting for me and you.  Cliches don’t really do that, do they?  They make even fresh ideas seem dry.

Cliches can be fun if used in an ironic way (cough: hipster), but they just sound kind of lame and boring if used sincerely.My suggestion–editing gold here people–take out your pen(or the strikeout function) and get those cliches outta there. Your work and your readers will thank you. Pearl Luke over at Be a Better Writer has listed over 600 cliches to avoid like the plague in your writing. (See what I did there? I’m a delight!)

This my blog for Theme Thursday on SomeClever2.0. Such a badass Mommy blog. Oh, yeah, did I tell you guys she gave a shout-out to my blog? Nice, yeah?

She does a blog social called Themed Thursday, where she gives a theme and all of these different bloggers write about it, and check it out everyone else’s take.  Check out a detailed explanation here.

Aloha ya’ll!





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6 Responses to Raining cats and dogs

  1. Very interesting. Great post! Cheers.
    Feral Turtle recently posted..Caramel Cornflake Pops By Accident!!My Profile

  2. I love word/phrase origins (former English teacher!) but I didn’t know this one…creepy image but interesting!
    Kimberly recently posted..The Hidden Danger of DecoratingMy Profile

    • T.A. Woods

      I thought it was interesting too. I hadn’t thought about the origins of the phrase before. Thanks for stopping by Kimberly. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. deanabo

    I’ve always wondered about that phrase myself. great post.

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