The English idiom “when it rains it pours” is a phrase commonly heard in everyday conversation today. Here you will find information on the true meaning of this phrase and discover where the phrase originated from. This will be followed by some examples of how to properly use this phrase in conversations/statements, as well as other ways to say this phrase in the literal sense.
When It Rains It Pours
When It Rains It Pours Meaning
The phrase “when it rains it pours” means multiple negative incidents or situations have occurred together within a short time period.
Origin of this idiomatic expression
The phrase “when it rains it pours” is typically used today as a negative comment or observation. However, the phrase first appeared in 1911 when it became the slogan of the Morton Salt Company due to an advancement in the way their salt was created and sold to the general public. Before this innovation, rainy weather would cause a house to build up humidity which would cause the salt to clump together. The innovation in development prevented the salt from clumping despite weather conditions and the company used this slogan to indicate that even when there was inclement weather the salt would not clump together and would still pour.
“When It Rains It Pours” Examples
Examples of Statements
A statement in the local paper from a citizen experiencing some hard times.
- “Well, first we had the car accident and then this fire burnt half of our house down. As they say, when it rains it pours.”
A statement made by a team member on a football team.
- “We just can’t seem to win a game this year. We started bad and have just gotten more awful. When it rains it pours I guess.”
Examples in Conversations
A conversation between two friends.
- Friend 1: Hey, how are things going.
- Friend 2: Not so good. A week ago I got into an accident that totaled my car and I had to get a new one. Then this past Monday, I had to buy a new refrigerator because mine stopped working. The day after they installed my refrigerator, I had to go and buy a new washer because it stopped working too!
- Friend 1: Well, as they say, when it rains it pours.
A conversation between co-workers.
- Co-worker 1: How are things coming along with the project?
- Co-worker 2: Well, they were going fine until the boss put more plans on my desk. Now we are way behind and trying to play catch up and I am swamped.
- Co-worker 1: Believe me, I know the feeling. He put more work on my desk yesterday too. When it rains it pours.
Other Ways to Say “When It Rains It Pours”
The phrase “when it rains it pours” can be stated in more literal terms. Some other things you could say to convey the same meaning include: the bad news is usually accompanied by even more bad news, misery loves company or troubles always seem to come in three.
“When It Rains It Pours” synonyms:
- Evil chance seldom comes alone
- Misery loves company
- Troubles never come singly
- Misfortunes never come singly
- Bad luck comes in three
- Bad luck never comes alone
- Trouble comes in three
- Bad things come in group
- Bad situations come in group