Appalachia Sayings from Appalachia


A post shared by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

We’ve had more than our fair share of rain over the last week and as I type this post it’s falling a flood outside.

I jumped over to the Frank C. Brown Collection of NC Folklore to see if it had anything to say about rain. From sayings to folklore the book has a lot to say about rain.

  • Like a picked chicken in a rain storm (sounds very uncomfortable)
  • Raining like cattle with their horns down ( seems like I’ve heard this one, but not sure)
  • A bull frog knows more about rain than the Almanac (true)
  • A small rain will lay a great dust (a very deep saying if you study on it)
  • As right as rain
  • More rain, more rest (I’m sure this one was from the days when most folks were farmers)
  • Sense enough to come in out of the rain (I hear this one often)
  • The rain doesn’t know broadcloth from jeans
  • Voice like rain on a tin roof (I think that would be a very pretty voice)
  • It never rains but it pours (ain’t that the truth!)
  • One raindrop can’t make a crop
  • As welcome as the sun after a rain
  • Sunshine follows the rain
  • The morning rain is like an old woman’s dance, soon over (not this go around-its rained at all hours of the day and night)
  • Gully-washer – A heavy rain
  • Rain-seed – mottled clouds that mean rain is coming
  • Trash-breaker, trash-washer – A big and sudden downpour of rain

If you think of any to add to the list please leave a comment.


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  • Reply
    C. Ron Perry, Sr.
    May 30, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    We can always live WITH the rain but we surely can’t live WITHOUT it. Stay warm and dry out there. I enjoyed all of the old sayings that you all shared.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    One more thing – think we need a prayer exchange: folks in these parts will pray that those of you receiving excessive amounts of rain see the sun soon and stay safe; y’all please pray that some of that rain eases west and southwest – the corn and maize is curling in the fields.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Have heard and used several of those phrases but learned a lot of new ones as well. Just one thing – whoever started saying “more rain, more rest” didn’t know my family – rain just meant you had to catch up on all the tool cleaning, repairing, and sharpening! When that was done you cleaned and re-organized the shed, the tool shed, built new shelves, hung new brackets,etc. – – and sometimes, like after a hurricane, when you were still getting the after showers, we were out in the rain cleaning up the debris the storms had brought – – rest? that was almost a sin!!!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 30, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I had two visitors from Bryson City today, but I was on my way to Advance Auto Parts in Murphy. My Jeep is in need of a crankshaft or flywheel sensor and that was the only one that had a one holer.
    I had to get a hug from Susan and I apologized to Don for having to run off. We didn’t even get to talk any, but we’ll catch up later. Sorry for not commenting on the Rain. …Ken

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    May 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    A frog strangler and its raining cats and dogs. Gully washer. We had a Deluge. We have been having a lot of rain but we did have two sunny days here in south central PA. Now we are back to probable showers every day for what looks like 6 or 7 days. The poor town of Elicott City, Maryland had a torrent of rain gushing down its main street rising as high as the first floor of their buildings.

    Children, me included in days gone by, love to dance around in a summer rain and love to jump in mud puddles created from all that rain. And then there are those songs that stick in your head: Rainy Night in GA, Kentucky Rain, Raindrops Keep Falling on my head, I Love a Rainy Night (great sleeping), and one of my favorites – Singing in The Rain. Lately, though it seems like the Temptations must have been singing “I Wish It Would Rain.” Me, I’m ready for the sunshine.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 30, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I’ve seen several of the sayings I’m familiar with already posted…”Toad Strangler”, “Gully Washer”, etc…We used to say…”It’s raining cats and dogs.” When the water began to stand, we lived near a dam, “The Dam Must’ve Broke”… also making a statement. “Looks like it’s time to start building an Ark!” Speaking of boys n’ men that wear their pants too short most of time and get teased about it! “Boys now’s the time to put on your floods!” Meaning wear their short pants! One of my favorite Irish sayings is…”No use carrying an umbrella, if you have holes in your boots!”…
    I designed and did a little painting on a rock this Spring…theme was rain or downpour…Wish I could post the picture
    here…titled..”Mr. Fishy and Rain Bonnet Puddle Duck” Mr. Fishy had hopped in the rickety boat holding a large leaf, to keep some rain off while Miss Rain Bonnet Puddle Duck was sitting huddled under her big country bonnet! While rain made rings from the huge water drops all around the boat…I decided that would show how much rain we were getting when fish and ducks take to a boat! Ha..
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…We had a big down pour early this morning…and we are waiting for more…Glad I got my strawberries early for this much rain will mold the rest…

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I certainly don’t want anyone, anything or anyone’s property to be damaged by rain or flood but I LOVE IT. Not much more depressing and sad than drought, baked earth and dead animals dying of thirst . Thinking of the dead wild horses out west.
    Granny always said it was a sin to complain about the weather. Have no idea if that’s in Bible .? It would be nice to see another real Spring one year.
    There’s a break in the clouds so I better go pull some weeds, they’re gonna grow in the door.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    May 30, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I’ve heard most of these but a couple more are “A stump floater” & “A frog drowner” come to mind. A few days ago we had downpour, a neighbor’s garden end up downtown Bryson City which is a mile away. The branch which drains our neighborhood enters the Tuckasegee right behind the Pavilion where the Presley Girls were scheduled to perform so they may have seen a little of this downfall or the results of the same.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Incredible amounts of rain here in Middle TN. My garden came up so well but the grass is overtaking it now. We are ready for a dry spell.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 10:10 am

    There is a dam up in McDowell County in “imminent risk” of breaking. The whole county is flooded. I-40 was closed because of a landslide and many smaller roads are covered by mudslides. People have been evacuated from campgrounds and homes in Old Fort and Marion. Schools are closed all over the county.
    We have had more than our share of rain here and we’re about flooded out too. All that water from our friends up in McDowell County will be finding it’s way here shortly.
    Hoist the mainsail, me hearties!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Raining cats and dogs—–and I just stepped in a poodle.

    • Reply
      May 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Did it splatter on you?

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 9:22 am

    If you walk outside and find no dew on the grass in the early morning , it will rain that day. My grass is as dry as a chip this morning. We are expecting heavy rain today and possible severe weather tomorrow.
    We can’t seem to get the hay cut or keep the weeds out of the garden with the constant threat of rain. I’ve been waiting all month to use a pond chemical that must be sprayed when no rain is expected for 48 hours. When I complain about the rain, I think of what a tenant said that had moved here from CA to attend the Baptist Seminary. He said, “I’ve never seen such bright green vegetation. It’s brown where I come from.”

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    May 30, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Frog strangler is the most common, but if it’s raining really hard it sounds “like a cow peeing on a flat rock.” That’s one I heard from relatives ever since I was little.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Rodriguez
    May 30, 2018 at 9:15 am

    The only other one I can think of is “Raining on my parade.”

  • Reply
    Jane W Bolden
    May 30, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Raining cat sand dogs

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    May 30, 2018 at 8:14 am

    And, in our desert country that always needs more rain, when we hope for rain and just get a brief shower:
    “We had a 5-inch rain: 5 drops, each an inch apart.”

  • Reply
    aw griffgrowin
    May 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

    When it rains while the sun is shining, it will rain at the same time the next day. If houseflies start biting, rain is on the way.
    Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 7:19 am

    When it rains it pours. and it does seem that way. When you have a mess of bad luck seems like it just keeps coming. I always remember, “This too shall pass.” It seems as though that rain just keeps on when you are planting, and then it stops when you need it foe the garden. There is nothing like a good sleep when it is raining, except it seems to make your bones ache.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A. Paule
    May 30, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Quite a few there I haven’t heard but frog strangler is what I hear most

  • Reply
    glyn underwood
    May 30, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Always rains after a long dry spell.Glyn Underwood

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 30, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Toad strangler, like pouring p— out of a boot, and one other one that is too crude to print! I have a long drive today and it would suit me just fine if it quit raining…but the weather pays no attention to my preferences!

  • Reply
    Susan Landis
    May 30, 2018 at 6:39 am

    It’s a toad strangler out there. It was raining like pouring pee out of a boot.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 30, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Tipper–I’ll add a few.
    It’s been a young Noah.
    It could come a rainstorm out of a hornet’s nest here.
    Another one, sufficiently crude for me to avoid (but commonplace) involving cows and river rocks.
    Raining up a storm.
    Into every life a little rain must fall.
    One good thing about rain–it always stops.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    May 30, 2018 at 5:32 am

    A frog-strangler – very heavy rain.
    If it rains while the sun is shining: The devil is beating his wife – or – It will rain at the same time tomorrow. Take your pick of those alternatives.

    When you see the leaves on the trees turned with their bottom surfaces up it will rain soon.

    It rains on the just and the unjust alike.

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