Saturday, 19 July 2014

Its Raining Stair Rods...

A BBC report for the 50 words used to describe rain has highlighted some terms that may surprise you.

"Many colloquial words for rain are regional or have their roots in the Celtic nations, such as dreich in Scots English and soft weather in the euphemism-laden Hiberno-English spoken in Ireland.
There are plenty I'd like to hear weather forecasters using on the air:
  • tippling down
  • pelting down
  • raining cats and dogs
And there are more with the sturdy feel of regional English. Luttering down, siling down and plothering down are among my favourites. You can't honestly put them in order of severity, of course, but all conjure that sense of looking out of the window on a rainy day somewhere in provincial Britain and seeing rain hammering relentlessly from a sky the colour of cigarette ash.
One of the commonest and most vividly descriptive phrases is raining stair-rods. I like it because I shouldn't think many people in the UK have seen a stair-rod for 50 years or more so it has the comfortable feeling of a phrase your mother or father might have used to describe the rain.

The analogy, of course, is the rain falling in long, straight streaks - both German and French have words using the imagery of ropes or cords to do the same thing. " BBC.

Not sure about their comment on 50 years, sales of stair rods go from strength to strength. To read more about the article on Stairrods.

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