It's an unusual day today for us this time of year. Grey, chill and wet. My umbrella and rain jacket are drying in the utility room from my walk to and from Pilates this morning and I'm sitting here with damp socks, windows wide open (love the fresh air) and listening to the sound of the rain on the roof. I adore that sound.
Right now it's mostly just a pittypat rain. Did you ever hear that term? I think the first person i heard say that was a patient of mine in Colorado. First of all I thought it was adorable. Then I realized that it was a perfect desecriptor. So I have adopted it.
There are a lot of wonderful phrases to describe different kinds of rain. Have you heard of all of these:
Gully Washer. Sometimes Gully Whopper or Gully Buster. It's considered a New England regional phrase, but I've heard some version of it used in every corner of this country to describe a particularly heavy rainstorm.
Goose Drownder. Or sometimes Fish Drownder. Well that's just a horrible image. Supposedly a term originating in the Mid-West. Unpleasant imagery but vivid.
Toad Strangler. Ewwww! More animal violence. I'm told this is a gulf states phrase. They can keep this one.
Raining Cats and Dogs. You've probably heard that one before. The first written example of that phrase goes all the way back to 1651! So while I'm not certain what the original author meant by those exact words, people have been saying it for a very long time. But I did not know that other folks say things like, It's Raining Devils and Pitchforks. Supposedly a rural Florida expression though I'v not heard it used here (yet) Another similar one is Raining Bullfrogs and Raining Monkeys. The monkeys thing is from Louisiana. It made me laugh out loud. Another reason to love Louisiana. Raining Monkey indeed.
Mud Sender. That's from California and it makes perfect sense. They have mudslides there when the rain is overwhelming. I totally get that one.
Palmetto Pounder. That one is specific to Miami although since Palmetto Palms grow in a lot of tropical and sub-tropical areas, I suppose it would apply in other states/countries. This is another one that actually makes sense to me.
Sizzly Sod-Soaker. That's from the Appalachians and it means a steady rain. Sod soaking makes sense. It's the sizzly part that kind of cracks me up.
Nubbin. One of the more unique descriptions of a hard rain. It hails from down Kentucky way and it means a rain that is heavy enough to stunt corn growth. Also could be called Nubbin Strangler or Nubbin Stretcher. There is that word "strangler" again. What is it about rain that makes people so violent anyway?
Here is a great southern one: "It rained like a cow peeing on a flat rock". There is absolutely no mistaking exactly what that means. I might not be the most ladylike sentence ever spoken but it paints a picture.
If we hop the pond to Great Britain we find other wonderfully colourful phrases to describe different sorts of rain: Tipping Down, Bucketing Down (I really like that one) and Teeming.
Then there are some they apparently are of British origin but I didn't know that until I was an adult. They were just another part of my family's lexicon: Drizzle, spitting, sunshower, April shower, deluge and the one everyone is tired of hearing, "Nice Weather for Ducks." And honestly I question that one. Is it really and truly nice weather for ducks when it rains? Do they enjoy the rain? Or do they have no choice in the matter but to be out in it?
The question comes to mind in particular because on my way back from class today, as I tromped gleefully through puddles, I noticed an Egret that was absolutely drenched standing under a tree, as close as possible to the trunk apparently trying to stay dry. I honestly never thought about it before but maybe ducks and other birds that hang out in the water are not such big fans of rain as rumour would have us believe. Maybe they just have no protected place to go?
Regardless of what you call it, it's happening here today. I still have the windows wide open of course, which means it's a mite chilly in the house, but I don't care because I love that fresh air and spring rain fragrance. I will have rainy day hair all day long and every woman I know understands what I mean by that. And I will, no doubt, be wearing long pants and a sweater. It's all good. The garden is very happy with the rain, it's a nice change of pace for us actually and while I'm still not convinced that ducks actually enjoy the rain, they are, at the very least, accustomed to being wet.
Whatever your weather today, I hope you are enjoying it!
Hugs all 'round
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.