Idiom of the Week: “It’s raining cats and dogs”

by Laurie Laurendeau on January 25, 2012

Idioms are short phrases or expressions that we use in the English language to express a thought in a more interesting manner.  Examples of idioms might include “in a pickle”, or “it’s raining cats and dogs”.  Children who struggle with reading comprehension often read quite literally what is on the page, and then the true meaning of the sentence can be lost.  Teaching your child a new idiom each week will help improve his/her ability to “read between the lines” in both oral speech and in written texts.  Have fun trying to use the idiom each week in everyday life!

IDIOM: “It’s raining cats and dogs”

DEFINITION:  It’s raining really hard, raining heavily.

EXAMPLES:  1.When we were playing at the park, it suddenly started raining cats and dogs!

2. At first there was only a light rain, but then it was raining cats and dogs.

ACTIVITY:  Research online the possible origins of this idiom.  There are several explanations, but a common one explains that cats and dogs would hide up under thatched roofs of houses, and when it would rain, the cats and dogs would slide off the roof, making it look like it was “raining cats and dogs”.  This is of course not probable, but it’s fun to read all the possible explanations!

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