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Alternative forms[edit]


gully +‎ washer (1815–1825)


gullywasher (plural gullywashers)

  1. (US, informal) An intense, but usually short-lived, rainstorm.
    • 2008, Jonathan Raban, Surveillance, Vintage →ISBN, page 110
      "Then maybe some preacher got a tad too zealous on Sunday" Thinking of his " frog-strangler," Lucy said, "In Montana, we'd call this a gullywasher." " Gullywasher. I like that." She could hear him, up there on the island in Thomas Jefferson's ...

Usage notes[edit]

This term is used throughout the Midland,[1] Southern,[2] and Western United States.[1] Allan A. Metcalf's 2000 book How We Talk: American Regional English Today notes "there are gully washers throughout the South and South Midlands, and this is one Southern term that is well-known in the central Midwest as well, as far north as Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and as far west as Colorado. But there aren't any gully washers in New England or the northernmost states, and the word is rare on the Pacific coast."


  1. 1.0 1.1 gullywasher” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ 2001, Colleen Cotter, USA Phrasebook