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It's Raining Cats and Dogs & Bring Home the Bacon

This lesson is a part of an audio course English Phrases and Idioms by Robert Davey

Hello and welcome to lesson 7 of the 'English Phrases and Idioms' course. In this lesson, we will be looking at the origin and meaning of 'It's Raining Cats and Dogs & Bring Home the Bacon.'

– The first phrase we will look at today is 'It's Raining Cats and Dogs.'

– This sounds like it would be a popular phrase in England.

– It certainly is. It simply means that it's raining heavily, torrential rain, a common sight in England. The origin of this phrase is quite an interesting and dark one. Way back in the 17th and 18th centuries, the streets of England were very dirty, and rubbish and dead animals would often be left out in the streets. When the heavy rain inevitably came, this rubbish would be washed down the street along with any dead animals, appearing as though the cats and dogs had fallen from the sky along with the rain.

Nowadays, of course, the streets are much cleaner, but the weather hasn't changed too much. So you will often hear people saying, 'It's Raining Cats and Dogs Today.'

Our second phrase for today is 'Bring Home the Bacon.' Have you heard this phrase before, Cami?

– No, I don't think so. Where does this phrase come from?

– Well, this is a very old phrase and can be first seen in England in the year 1104. In the county of Essex in the south of England, a married couple impressed the local religious leader with their devotion to one and other. He was so impressed that he awarded them a side of bacon, a great prize back in those days. This tradition continues to this day, and an award of bacon is given out every four years to devoted couples.

– Oh wow, and what does it mean when we say 'Bring Home the Bacon'.

– Nowadays, it usually means to earn money or to be successful in something, especially financially successful. For example, 'My dad works so hard to bring home the bacon for our family.' Or 'Mrs. Clark urged her daughter to find a job so that she could bring home the bacon.'

So listener, Does it often rain cats and dogs where you live? And who brings home the bacon in your family?

This is the end of lesson 7 of the 'English Phrases and Idioms' course.

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Written by

Robert Davey

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