What does the idiom "When it rains it pours" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. When it rains it pours meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "When it rains it pours"


The idiom “when it rains it pours” is used to refer to a situation in which something bad or unpleasant happens all at once in quick succession. It is often used to describe a series of unfortunate events. The phrase implies that when one thing goes wrong, it can often lead to a chain of events where everything seems to suddenly fall apart.


The literal meaning of this phrase is derived from the fact that when rain falls from the sky, it typically does so heavily and quickly. The phrase has been in use since the early 20th century and was first recorded in the year 1904. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown, though it is believed to have originated in the southern United States.


This phrase is typically used in a conversational manner when speaking about a series of negative events. It can also be used to express sympathy for someone who is in the middle of a particularly unfortunate situation. Depending on the context and tone of voice, the phrase can be used in a lighthearted way or with a more serious tone.

Example Sentences

  • I thought things were going smoothly, but when it rains it pours. Now I'm dealing with a problem I didn't know I had.
  • It's been a rough few days. When it rains it pours, right?
  • My car needed a new tire, and then the transmission went out. I guess when it rains it pours.

The meanings of the words in the "When it rains it pours" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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