rain dogs and cats
- (idiomatic, dated, rare) To rain very heavily.
1651, Henry Vaughan, Olor Iscanus:
- The Pedlars of our age have business yet, / And gladly would against the Fayr-day fit / Themselves with such a Roofe, that can secure / Their Wares from Dogs and Cats rain'd in showre.
1672, Maurice Atkins, Minor Burlesques and Travesties:
- Where e're I went on Land or water / Hee'd make a shift to follow after. / Neither had he flincht a foot, had fates / Made it rain down dogs and cats
1678, John Phillips, Maronides:
- When it rains Dogs and Cats in Hell, / The shelter'd Centaurs roar and yell.
This term is rarely used, whereas rain cats and dogs is in current usage.