Right as Rain

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11 comments on this post.
  1. Marcus:

    ‘All Gas and Gaiters’ was the name of a comedy series on the BBC in the late 60s/early 70s about senior church officials of exactly that description. Wikipedia has all the nerdy details for anyone interested, and you can sometimes catch repeats of the radio version on the BBC iPlayer (radio4extra). It is from that school of British humour that gets called ‘gentle’, i.e. a side-splitter it ain’t!

  2. Right as Rain | Bon Mots:

    […] been a variety of “right as” expressions. Frankly, they’re odd.  Here are a few, courtesy of Word Detective: right as a gun, right as a nail, right as a trivet, and my favorite, right as a book (that one […]

  3. Tanya:

    Actually I grow tomatoes in the desert. And it does occasionally rain in the desert!

  4. Hugo:

    I found some examples of “right as rain” used in the 1870s, in a British book, and Australian and New Zealand newspapers:


  5. 70-Odd Thoughts in 72 hours | haveyouheardthelatest:

    […] *Googles right as rain* ohhhhhh http://www.word-detective.com/2011/08/right-as-rain/ […]

  6. Do Miracles:

    Because all other websites aren’t even close… I will contribute to this one… Right = Rain… they are the same thing… Regn es Rign… English etymology is not going to answer all the questions because English was not the first language… and sayings were said before they were typed in 1908… so, in English, you might say, “Rig is Rig”… because both are the same… Rain is Right… Right is Rain… both share the same meaning in “convey” & “conduct” …hope that helps! Thank you…

  7. Murray Quin:

    Geometry teacher here. Right angle = perpendicular = 90 degrees. Rain often falls straight down (in perpendicular fashion) to the Earth.

  8. Amanda:

    Right in old English means something that moves or goes in a straight line so I guess rain always goes in a straight line to right as rain probably means straight as rain so when we say we are right an rain we are ok

  9. Mark S Kuntz:

    During a rather eventful month, broken leg on our anniverary, her leg not mine, poking myself in the eye with my car keys (not a sharp stick, still not any fun), a cousin passing away, the phrase right as rain came up. I decided to look it up and came across this entry. As i started to leave, still not convinced of why rain is right, I thought perhaps it was reign not rain. One who reigns is always right.

  10. Mad4it:

    Most people commenting seem to be ignoring the fact that rain only falls perpendicular if no outside force acts upon it. (I am a pedant, sorry.)
    However, it could only appear in print if usage was widespread enough for the general reader to understand. It’s no use using it if nobody understands it. So usage in print must postdate common verbal usage, possibly by centuries (mild exaggeration?), or at least several years to be widespread enough, and depending where writer and reader lived.
    Of course, if they lived close, it could have taken as little as a few minutes (think neighbours gassing over a shared fence). So many coulds and woulds, right? {sigh}.
    Anyhow, it might have been as simple as just that people liked the sound because it was alliterative and rolls easily off the tongue. Thereby becoming a most common phrase that is understood by all English-speaking people of competence.
    However, I do think the author has done a good job of tracking the earliest print job and I like the style of writing. It was an interesting read. Thank you.

  11. Madysin Lacourte:

    Please excuse any grammatical and spelling errors above. Also, it’s frustrating that all emoticons become question marks, which makes no sense where they are placed… i.e. after exaggeration, was meant to be a ;-) and at the end was meant to be a :-)
    Thank you.

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