Today my Wednesday Word Tangle word of the day is fashionably late.
Not that I find being late in any way fashionable or desirable – for me, being late for an appointment is akin to having root canal work done. It scratches at my brain like an angry kitten at a doorpost.
And I’ve never been fashionable anyway, not even years ago when I was young enough to be concerned about such things and you’re talking back in the days of huge hair, shoulder pads as wide as American football players’ protective gear and ra-ra skirts, which – for those of you too young to remember such aesthetic abominations – were not so much clothing as the frills collected from many windows worth of curtains all sewn together in one uncomfortable, unattractive and impractical cry for help.
Anyway, as this post is late and I had no idea what to do it on, I was sitting here, searching for inspiration when I cast my frantic eye towards the window and what do I see but
Now, I know I’m being a typical Brit here, but I can’t help being amused and bemused by our weather. Until two weeks ago, we still had our radiators chugging out the heat and I was wearing my duvet socks and thermal vest (what did I say earlier about me being a fashion icon?) At the weekend, I was concerned the entire family would suffer heat stroke as we marched through the ethereal Wiltshire landscape of earthworks and burial hillocks on our way to Stonehenge (more in a future post). Today, my son was wringing out his underwear after cycling back from school.
The word Rain seems to be Middle English, derived from the Germanic, possibly from the Latin rigare (to moisten).
More interesting, though, are rainy sayings and euphemisms.
‘Peeing down’ or ‘peeing with rain’ is a eupehmistic version of the more earthy ‘p***ing down’.
Then there’s ‘Raining cats and dogs’, meaning to rain heavily – a wonderfully colourful idiom of cloudy derivation. My favourite origin story for this is that it could have meant downpours heavy enough to wash the corpses of dead pets from guttering, flushing them onto passers by as if they were dropping straight from the clouds. I like that idea – very Medieval.
My nan used to say it was ‘raining stair rods’, stair rods being the metal poles that pinned carpet to stairs before carpet fitters discovered whatever the hell it is they use now. Imagine rain that falls straight and heavy as metal poles around three feet long and you’ll undrstand what she meant.
Other countries have some fantastic rainy idioms too. How about –
“It’s raining old women with clubs.” (South Africa and Namibia).
“It’s raining pilot whales.” (Faroe Islands).
“It’s raining like Esther sucks.” (Finland).
“It’s raining troll women.” (Norway).
“It’s raining frogs’ beards.” (Portuguese speaking countries).
“Tractors are falling.” (Slovakia and the Czech Republic).
I know our Irish cousins – like the lovely Kat from Kittykat Bits and Bobs – would say it’s a “soft day”.
So, do you know any other rainy sayings to add to the list? The more outlandish the better.
Respect due to my blogging pal, Kat, the mother of W4W.