Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What do you say when it's raining and sunny at the same time?
August 24, 2001 10:12 AM   Subscribe

What do you say when it's raining and sunny at the same time? In Abkhaz, "the devils are getting married." In Amharic, "the hyena is giving birth." In Arabic, "the rats are getting married." In Dutch, it's a "fair in hell." In Galician, "the Devil goes to Ferrol." And so on...
posted by Mo Nickels (70 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
In the Midwest it's just called a "normal Summer day."
posted by moses at 10:18 AM on August 24, 2001


Japanese
1. kitsune-no yome-iri 'fox's wedding' (literally "fox-genitive bride-enter")


Reminds me of the scene in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, with a small child witnessing the foxes' wedding (...or was it a funeral??) and then being shunned by the human world.

really interesting link, Mo! Thanks.

k
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:19 AM on August 24, 2001


In Hawaii, we used to call such rainfalls, "pineapple juice"
posted by Dagobert at 10:19 AM on August 24, 2001


I call them "a troubling admixture of sacred and profane things." In spring, I call them "the twins."
posted by rschram at 10:23 AM on August 24, 2001


I had an English Prof once tell me a great story about him being out for a walk one rainy day with his girlfriend, and when they walked into a field - a sunshower hit them, and he felt the urge to ask her to marry him on the spot. She did. Very romantic.

However, now that he's getting on in years, it's kind of strange, since he claims to ask any young woman in his presence to marry him whenever he sees a sunshower. As far as I knew he was still married, and thought this was devilish fun, but I know a few co-eds who weren't as amused.
posted by kokogiak at 10:25 AM on August 24, 2001


In India among the kids who go/went to English medium schools: "The donkey is getting married"
posted by riffola at 10:26 AM on August 24, 2001


Dagobert, where I came from in Hawaii (upcountry Maui) we called such rainfalls "Pukalani". :)

It's the name of a little town in Maui, which means "hole in the heavens". Some quirk of geography dictated that when it's raining in Pukalani, it's sunny on the rest of the island, and vice versa. Also, it rains more frequently there than anywhere else on the island (this isn't scientific fact, just how I remember it).

It's very neat. It's such a tiny town that when you're standing in the middle of it, you can literally see the one rain cloud that's pouring water all over you, sitting alone in the middle of the sky. And when it's sunny, you can see the hole in the clouds that are pouring water all over the rest of the island, where the sunlight is streaming through.
posted by annathea at 10:26 AM on August 24, 2001 [1 favorite]


I wonder which language the "fox/wolf/monkey/rat's wedding" phrase originated from. It seems to have travelled through almost every language, and all without me ever hearing of it!

Also, I don't think I read anywhere an explanation for this metaphor. Does anyone know?
posted by mockerybird at 10:32 AM on August 24, 2001


I had a boss from somewhere in the south who'd say "the devil is beating his wife." which, I notice, is listed in there, not just as being a US Southern expression, but also Dutch & Hungarian. huh?
posted by epersonae at 10:33 AM on August 24, 2001


This is really weird.

I was just riding in a cab the other day and the driver told me that when he was younger, they would refer to rain on sunny days as "the devil is beating his wife"...
posted by mattpusateri at 10:42 AM on August 24, 2001


Clearly I am an alien robot -- I've never heard anybody call a sun shower anything other than a sun shower!
posted by aramaic at 10:49 AM on August 24, 2001


I had a boss from somewhere in the south who'd say "the devil is beating his wife." which, I notice, is listed in there, not just as being a US Southern expression, but also Dutch & Hungarian. huh? The implication being that the devil doesn't beat his wife that often. How odd!

I think a partial connection is that many areas in Europe and Asia imagine marriage as a kind of alloying of different individuals and groups. This is how most westerners think of marriage too, but it is not universal. Hence the unlikely combination of two things will appear to be a (strange) marriage.

Another partial connection is that this sort of thing happens in Hawaii every day, hence islanders and the kama'aina who inherit that folklore are less likely to dress it up in some funny sounding idiom.

"Pineapple juice" is certifiably an invention of the tourism industry. :)
posted by rschram at 10:49 AM on August 24, 2001


which brings up mockerybird's question (albeit re: the fox's wedding) - where did these images come from? (both -what location- and -why this metaphor-)

any guesses?
posted by epersonae at 10:52 AM on August 24, 2001


My mother's family (from Mississippi) also referred to it as "the devil is beating his wife". The rain is reputed to be her tears.
posted by skyscraper at 10:52 AM on August 24, 2001


Just conjecture here, but I think the foxes' wedding thing is purely the sense of the magical that accompanies an uncommon occurrence such as a sunshower. Foxes have mythic godlike qualities in many cultures...also the wedding is supposed to be secret from the human world, because the rain would keep us humans indoors...maybe the aspect of the rainbow that would doubtless be created by a sunshower lends an element of the mystical as well.

Generally it may be an old legend to deal with a phenomenon man couldn't quite get his mind around (It's raining and sunny at the same time. Eek!). Similar to the idea that the Northern Lights would mean someone's death. In other words, Nature is doing something we don't understand, better leave it alone.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:11 AM on August 24, 2001


I just think of John Fogerty.
posted by argybarg at 11:16 AM on August 24, 2001


In the Mississippi Valley, we're too busy swabbing sweat out of our asscracks to notice.
posted by UncleFes at 11:53 AM on August 24, 2001


Nice visual, UnlceFes, thanks...

My mother's family (from Mississippi) also referred to it as "the devil is beating his wife". The rain is reputed to be her tears.

That's what we called it too (Louisiana), but in retrospect, considering the direction of the water, seems like it should have been "God's beating the Virgin Mary"....
posted by fooljay at 12:36 PM on August 24, 2001


So THAT's how they get Hidden Valley Ranch!
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:45 PM on August 24, 2001


Just add pepper, I supply the croutons :D
posted by UncleFes at 12:50 PM on August 24, 2001


That would be Hidden Vally Raunch, I think.
posted by skyscraper at 1:03 PM on August 24, 2001


In Jamaica, it's "The devil and his wife fighting over a chicken bone". I don't understand it either. There are a million old wive's tales and sayings in Jamaica that even Jamaicans can't understand.
posted by owillis at 1:18 PM on August 24, 2001


Since we live in a global culture, why not call it sunshowers "The Devil Beating his Wife, Who is a Hyena, for Getting Married at the Fair"?
posted by Hildago at 1:32 PM on August 24, 2001


rschram - I didn't think the "devil beating his wife" part was so odd, necessarily - tho the first time I heard it I was quite confused. I think your explanation makes a lot of sense.

I was more wondering about the connection between the Netherlands, Hungary & the American South.
posted by epersonae at 1:36 PM on August 24, 2001


Netherlands, Hungary & the American South. Dunno. They're all Indo-Europeans I guess.
posted by rschram at 2:07 PM on August 24, 2001


Huh. I must *really* be an alien - I've never even heard the term "sunshower", much less any of the allegorical phrases for it. I'm not even certain I know what meteorological phenomenon is being described.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:12 PM on August 24, 2001


Mars... it's when there's a rainshower happening, but there are no clouds overhead... often it's the tail-end of a rainshower as the clouds are moving on.

I've been in them when there weren't any clouds to be seen... but that was really weird.

I've been in plenty of sunshowers though... and they really are magical. I don't think I'd want to use any metaphor that would involve beatings of any kind. Something happy... I like the "Pukalani" term, though... very nice.
posted by silusGROK at 4:11 PM on August 24, 2001


"7even" the grossout movie is full of scenes of hard shadows and hard rain. Not sure if it was intentional.
posted by drunkkeith at 6:11 PM on August 24, 2001


i'm from southern louisiana and i've always said "the devil's beating his wife." i guess its not a cajun thing since there are people from mississippi saying it.
posted by ggggarret at 8:38 PM on August 24, 2001


I live in New York City, and when it's raining while sunny, I say "they're filming another film or tv series."
posted by ParisParamus at 8:46 PM on August 24, 2001


Great post...we have no sayings for it in Chicago except: hey look, it's raining and sunny at the same time.
posted by {savg*pncl} at 10:38 PM on August 24, 2001


Pssssst ... you should join us at Metafilter Chicago.
posted by dhartung at 12:48 AM on August 25, 2001


In southern Alabama we call it "a slow news day"
posted by vewystwange at 6:59 AM on August 25, 2001


in my country (Costa Rica) people say the virgin mary is taking a bath. pretty Catholic, uh?
posted by papalotl at 9:35 AM on August 27, 2001


Get back to 9622 you silly crack monkey!
posted by ColdChef at 7:10 AM on March 1, 2002


ColdChef, you always beat me to it! John, unleash the hounds!

Although this thread is a bad idea. It's a...*fear and trembling*...Nickels post and the K-man himself has blessed it: really interesting link, Mo! Thanks. Too rich for our blood, perhaps.

*scarpers cowardly*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:05 AM on March 1, 2002


I claim (the remainder of) this thread in the name of 9622! Imperialism r0x0r5!!!!

Chef, Miguel: If you haven't the stomach for this line of work, perhaps you'd be happier here.

You are either with me, or against me. I hope you'll choose the former.

They can take our monkeys; they can take our haiku; but they can never take our freedom!
posted by jpoulos at 10:42 AM on March 1, 2002


Nor can they take our commemerative statuettes of liberty!
posted by tj at 11:16 AM on March 1, 2002


Hi. Sorry I'm late, but I've been stealing internet time, it's quite a tricky covert project, and I have to be very circumspect.
posted by goneill at 11:45 AM on March 1, 2002


Chef: I thought that you had a "no more hidden threads policy"
posted by goneill at 11:45 AM on March 1, 2002


My dear, this is all just getting WAY outta hand. Can somebody get me some of Miss Bunny's "special vitamins?"
posted by ColdChef at 12:02 PM on March 1, 2002


Out of hand? pardon?
posted by goneill at 12:27 PM on March 1, 2002


Too many bookmarks. Too many threads to remember. It's all Miguel's fault, somehow.

Git Mama her medicine now, dear.
posted by ColdChef at 12:40 PM on March 1, 2002


i'll just put on your stories pet.
posted by goneill at 1:03 PM on March 1, 2002


They can take our monkeys; they can take our haiku; but they can never take our freedom!

So, lemme get this straight for bookmarking purposes...
11629 = Haiku
9622 = monkey lovin'
9621 = freedom
1142 = not good enough to lick jpoulos' boots?

So then what's 19 all about? Pissing to mark territory (as stavroslewonderfowl put it)?

Also:
Is it just me, or is this getting to be more like CB radio?
*breaker breaker 9621, this is the eyeballkid, i'm bringing my happy band o' monkeys on over from the 9622. it's getting crowded over there so I'll see you on the flip side. Back.*
posted by eyeballkid at 1:51 PM on March 1, 2002


You're missing a few.

There's the Bizarro 1142, one that will go unnamed and unnumbered (blows a kiss to goneill), and of course, the ultrasupersecret thread that cannot even be alluded to.

*That's a big ten-four Eyeball, keep them Smokeys off your backdoor, and your pedal to the metal, I'm gone*
posted by ColdChef at 1:58 PM on March 1, 2002


Please, eyeballkid. I'm not as heartless as you make me out to be. 1142 is free to lick my boots whenever it pleases.

So, chef, I'm guessing that when I told you and goneill to "get a room", you took my advice. Have you two set aside some little love-thread in a quaint little neighborhood? (I hear the 2200's are nice.)
posted by jpoulos at 2:16 PM on March 1, 2002


cheffypoo was interested in the 2200's but I really preferred the rough and tumble high 1*'s;
(fyi: that asterix stands for 'unlimited characters', not for 'begins action, or conversation').
I like my neighborhoods with character, not just a starbucks on every corner
* sigh, the chef is soooooooo conventional *
(fyi: these asterii stand for 'begin action, or conversation' not 'unlimited characters')

posted by goneill at 3:01 PM on March 1, 2002


mmmmm, asterii
posted by eyeballkid at 3:13 PM on March 1, 2002


fwiw: goneill, i prefer the more SQL-centric LIKE '1%' to the windows 1*... mmmmmm, SQL
posted by eyeballkid at 6:24 PM on March 1, 2002


also, goneill, if you and your beau are still looking, I have some pristine property availible in the 33 area. if you're interesed, you better jump on it quick. it's a nice mathowie post about extreme sports. (I wouldn't take to long to consider it. it'll be no time before the vandals show up and start selling crackflavored monkey pancakes. $10 a fair price?)
posted by eyeballkid at 6:33 PM on March 1, 2002


eyeballkid: I actually considered the '%', especially because the '*' has a different meaning here on Metafilter. I opted to go with the '*', because it is more of a standard wild-card character. I work more on sql than anything else, so the '%' does come more naturally to me too.
posted by goneill at 8:24 PM on March 1, 2002


You are either with me, or against me. I hope you'll choose the former.

Oh we are with you, jpoulos! Being against you would be akin to treason, murder, kuro5hin even.

By God, a new thread is invigorating! I've logged on for a half-hour now and my face, thanks to my dear fellows' renewed inspiration, is still blessed with the same indelible smile. I wonder what 9620 is like and, after that, 96219.

And though I blame ColdChef, I'm glad he did it.

I'm blushing about our prissy, guilty apologies on MeTa and promises to limit this fortunate banter to the "cult threads", like unruly kids facing the headmaster. But I'm thinking it's healthier to refresh all threads rather than stick to killing the old ones. I am also being sick of the gerund, by the way.

Though I miss dong_resin, to the point of reserving my opinion, and feel a traitor for helping to make it difficult for our friend and hero Kafkaesque, when he gets back.

Our only defense and hope is that, so far, this will all appear to him, if he's the "my comments" kind of sorting guy I imagine he is :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:58 PM on March 1, 2002


I knew I could count on you, Miguel. Now, together we shall rule the universe! ...or at least the 9620's...
posted by jpoulos at 10:00 PM on March 1, 2002


John: Brother! Rushmc made an impression on 9623 and may be pulled in if it shows up on his "My comments" sortage. I know this word doesn't exist but, like arbitrage before it, I feel it should.

The best strategy for taking over the 9620's would be to target carefully chosen Pouloists who have contributed to the relevant threads. A simple comment along the lines of "Come back, Whatsyourname!" would be sufficient to pull the necessary men and women in. The "My Comments" option is the subversive, yet loyal Mefi's private weapon of choice, right?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:14 PM on March 1, 2002


Sounds good, my friend. I'll charge forward from here, through 9623, 9624, etc. On my signal, I need to you *flank* this sumbitch: Hit 9629, and hit it hard! We should meet somewhere around 9626...

On second thought, it's saturday. Let's just watch soccer. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 9:01 AM on March 2, 2002


(pssst jpoulos... i believe in Miguel's world, it's called futball)
posted by eyeballkid at 11:28 AM on March 2, 2002


Miguel has his own world? I knew it was just a matter of time. Sweet!
posted by jpoulos at 2:24 PM on March 2, 2002


It's just part of his vicious xenophobic "beer nuts" campaign to make me feel foreign. It's actually futebol. Yeah, Portugal 9629 may be my world but you're welcome to it all the same.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:10 PM on March 2, 2002


*eyeballkid rips open his fifth bag of beer nuts today.... buuuuuuurp.... damn these are good*
posted by eyeballkid at 11:29 AM on March 3, 2002


I barely made it from 9622 alive! The monkeys...they're revolting!
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:30 PM on March 4, 2002


*makes sunken expression, pours large Scotch, takes Kafkaesque aside to explain the gravity of the situation*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:43 PM on March 4, 2002


Monkeys aren't revoluting K, they're cuuuuute.

posted by jpoulos at 4:54 PM on March 4, 2002


revoluting = revolting, natch.
posted by jpoulos at 4:56 PM on March 4, 2002


so, boys, now that the monkeys have overrun our dear 9622, what's the plan? take over the rest of the 9620's and defend against a monkey takeover? or do we just sit around and have Miguel pour us some more of that fabulous scotch?
posted by eyeballkid at 8:20 AM on March 6, 2002


But...the monkey takeover is already complete!

*Points at eyeballkid, makes Donald Sutherland-type wailing sound*
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:03 AM on March 6, 2002


scotch it is then
posted by eyeballkid at 11:07 AM on March 6, 2002


OK: this is insane - I thought that 9621 was for drivel not monkeys - monkeys are at 9622. Go back there with jonmc and mlang.

discussion of alchohol is always allowed
posted by goneill at 8:42 AM on March 7, 2002


What about alcoholic drinks named after our chimpy friends?
posted by ColdChef at 7:49 PM on March 7, 2002


Ah yes, I remember hours spent in my youth trying to figure out the meaning of that phrase.
I think it's fair game.
posted by goneill at 6:53 AM on March 8, 2002


« Older Liddy Dole does a Hillary...  |  metafilter parody.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments