Cata doxas, Hail caesar , et cetera, ad nauseum

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I've often wondered about frog rain but not enough to look into it. Is it a biblical reference?

To answer your question GMU , throughout history, there have been tales of raining frogs. These stories, as crazy as they may seem, are actually real events! From Biblical tales of Egyptian storms to British towns suddenly finding themselves covered with frogs falling from the sky, such events are caused when a wind storm passes over a pond or lake teaming with frogs, picking them up and dumping them elsewhere.

The straight dope goes into more depth regarding these strange phenomenum

This may lead you to think waterspouts or their inland cousins the whirlwinds are the source of the expression "raining cats and dogs." But there are many competing explanations. A sample:

  1. It comes from the Greek catadupe, waterfall. In other words, it's coming down in cataracts.
  2. It comes from the Latin cata doxas, contrary to experience, i.e., it's raining unusually hard.
  3. In Germanic mythology cats were associated with storms and rain, whereas dogs were attendants of Odin the storm god and were symbols of the winds. Ergo, raining cats and dogs means you have a lot of wind (the dogs' department) and rain (the cats' bailiwick)
  4. I also heard that during the medieval times the thatch rooves would become weakened under heavy rainfall and would collapse under the weight of a cat climbing on the roof. Hence raining cats and dogs.

Q: What's worse than raining cats and dogs? A: Hailing taxicabs.

You could go your whole life without ever seeing anything like this and for those of you skeptical <---clicky] I have provided a short flick to remove doubt.


The Lazy Iguana said...

Has it ever rained cow pies? That could be funny. As long as it is someone else who gets hit.

By the way, have you ever seen the famous exploding whale video? Just do a google search.

jevanking™ said...

OK. Why do these things always seem to happen in Japan. Oh wait, I know, because over there it's the law to carry a camcorder on you at all times. I have no clue how that twister formed and how it got so violent--if you have the link to the story (that is not in Japanese), I'd love to see it.