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Catara­ta and “Cats and Dogs”

It is un­known where the Eng­lish phrase “it’s rain­ing cats and dogs” comes from. But there’s one like­ly et­y­mol­o­gy that it is a cor­rup­tion of the Latin catadu­pa for “wa­ter­fall”. From that same Latin root catadu­pa, we get the Span­ish for wa­ter­fall.… catara­ta.

The c‑t root that be­gins both catara­ta and “cats and dogs” does make this et­y­mol­o­gy plau­si­ble. But is it re­al? I just don’t know.

It does, how­ev­er, make it easy to re­mem­ber: a wa­ter­fall has the in­ten­si­ty of rain show­ers even stronger than with “cats and dogs”!


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