Glossary Home Idioms

When it rains it pours

“When it rains it pours” is used to describe how good or bad experiences are expanded due to other circumstances.

“When it rains it pours” is a common English phrase that’s used to suggest that similar events follow one another. It can be used in a positive or negative context in a wide variety of situations. The phrase originated in a Morton Salt advertisement in the early 1900s and is considered to be one of the longest-lasting and widely used phrases to have originated from such a context. 

When it rains it pours


Meaning of “When it rains it pours” 

“When it rains it pours” is used to describe how good or bad events or pieces of information are expanded due to other circumstances. The good things get better and the bad get worse. It might also refer to good things or bad things that happen one after another, compiling the good and the bad in a short span of time. Several issues might also come together that inspire someone to use the phrase. Sometimes the bad or good things will cause further circumstances, or, they might be causally unrelated and only pile together coincidentally. 


When To Use “When it rains it pours”

It’s possible to use “when it rains it pours” in a wide variety of situations. Someone might use it when something positive happens or when something negative happens. For example, if someone has a particularly good day where they’re continually met with good news and excitement they might use the phrase to refer to it “pouring” positivity. Someone might also use the phrase at the end of the day when they’ve been met with difficulties. Perhaps their car broke down on the way to work, they lost their job, got into a fight with their partner, and then lost a bet. One negative thing comes after another, seemingly feeding off of one another. 


Example Sentences With “When it rains it pours”

  • You know what they say when it rains, it pours. 
  • I know that when it rains, it pours. That’s why I’m always worried about saving money. 
  • No one remembered the fact that when it rains, it pours and we all ended up stranded on the side of the road. 
  • I can’t believe how well today went. It’s really true what they say about when it rains, it pours. 
  • Then, after that, my boss gave me a promotion. Can you believe it? It really rains when it pours. 


Why Do Writers Use “When it rains it pours?” 

Writers use “when it rains it pours” in the same way and for the same reasons that it is used in everyday conversations. It’s possible to work this phrase into a wide variety of situations. One might include it in a piece of dialogue when two characters are talking about an incredibly eventful and busy day. Or, one person might say it themselves when they’re trying to get away from a series of negative events. 


Origins of “When it rains it pours”

“When it rains it pours” originated in a surprising place, an ad created by the Morton Salt Company in the early 1900s. It is one of the most successful slogans to emerge from the period. It was used to advertise a new product, free-flowing table salt such as that which is still used today. At the time, it looked very much like it does today. It came in a blue cylindrical container, as it does today, with a spout that allowed the salt to flow easily out. The ad came about when the company added magnesium carbonate to the mixture, meaning that the salt would flow out of the tube even if it was damp outside. There were several other proposed slogans before the company finally settled on “when it rains, it pours.” 


Related Idioms 

Discover the Essential Secrets

of Poetry

Sign up to unveil the best kept secrets in poetry,

brought to you by the experts


Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey

Ad blocker detected

To create the home of poetry, we fund this through advertising

Please help us help you by disabling your ad blocker


We appreciate your support

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox

Send this to a friend