rain or shine: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘rain or shine’ mean?

The idiom "rain or shine" means that something will happen regardless of the weather or any other adverse conditions.

Idiom Explorer

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Rain or shine is an idiom that means something will happen regardless of the weather conditions or any other obstacles. It conveys determination, reliability, and steadfastness. The idiom has its origins in the Bible, where it is written in Genesis 8:22: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." This passage implies that certain events will happen without fail, regardless of the changing seasons and weather conditions.

The idiom gained popularity in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was frequently used to emphasize the commitment and determination of individuals or groups to perform their tasks or attend events no matter the weather. The phrase became especially prevalent in relation to outdoor events such as parades, festivals, and rallies, where organizers would often guarantee that they would proceed regardless of the weather. This is where the related idiom "come hell or high water" comes into play - it signifies a similar determination to overcome obstacles, no matter how difficult they may be.

Today, the idiom "rain or shine" has become embedded in everyday language and is used in a wide variety of contexts. It is commonly employed in weather forecasts to convey the certainty of precipitation, ensuring that people are aware of what to expect regardless of the weather conditions. It is also used colloquially to express the resilience and determination of individuals who face challenges or obstacles, highlighting their unwavering commitment to their goals. In this sense, it is related to the idiom "weather the storm", which means to endure and overcome difficulties or adversities.

Despite the weather, her determination displayed unwavering commitment.

Another related idiom is "rain off", which is used when an outdoor event, such as a sports game or a picnic, is canceled or postponed due to rain. Even though the event may not take place as planned, the determination and steadfastness associated with the idiom "rain or shine" still apply. It reflects the attitude of not letting obstacles deter one from their resolve.

"rain cats and dogs" is yet another related idiom that describes heavy rain. It is used to emphasize the intensity of a rainstorm. When it's raining cats and dogs, it means the rain is pouring down heavily, but the determination and commitment represented by the idiom "rain or shine" remain unwavering, regardless of the weather's intensity.

Lastly, the idiom "save something for a rainy day" relates to the concept of being prepared for future challenges or uncertainties. It suggests setting aside resources or assets for unexpected or difficult times. While the idiom "rain or shine" implies an unwavering commitment despite obstacles, "save something for a rainy day" acknowledges the importance of being prepared for when obstacles do arise.

The idiom "rain or shine" symbolizes determination, reliability, and steadfastness. It originated from biblical references and gained popularity to highlight commitment and perseverance in the face of adversities. It is related to idioms such as "come hell or high water", "weather the storm", "rain off", "rain cats and dogs", and "save something for a rainy day". Each idiom reflects various aspects of resilience and determination in the English language, embodying the spirit of facing obstacles head-on, regardless of any external factors or adverse conditions.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom rain or shine can be used in a sentence:

  1. We will have the outdoor party in the park, rain or shine.
  2. The marathon will take place tomorrow, rain or shine.
  3. The farmers will continue working in their fields, rain or shine.

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