the devil is beating his wife

the devil is beating his wife
also known as sunshower or sun shower

Meaning | Synonyms

  • raining whereas the sun is shining
  • when the sun is shining yet it's raining
  • when raining but the sun is shining at the same time

Example Sentences

  1. Today, the devil is beating his wife in our city - it's raining cats and dog and sun is also shining.
  2. Yesterday, I saw a very rare event which is called - the devil is beating his wife.
  3. In people Southern United States of America usually comes across a weird natural phenomenon known as the devil is beating his wife.
  4. Everybody laughed, when a kid asked her mom, "Mamma, I want to see how the devil is beating his wife".


Several cultures now ascribed this phenomenon to folkloric tales featuring clever animals or tricksters being related or getting married to the devil. For instance, in the Southern United States and Hungary, when they experience a sun shower, they say "the devil is beating his wife with a walking stick", while the French would say "the devil is beating his wife and marrying his daughter."

The illustration of the idiomatic phrase can be explained as that of the devil spitting the fire of hell (the sun rays) and his wife's tears (the rain).

The first recorded use of this phrase was in 1703 in a French play, "to go and thrash him round the church-yard, as the devil does his wife in rainy weather when the sun shines." Then years later, a writer Jonathan Swift used it in 1738:

"the devil was beating his wife behind the door with a shoulder of mutton."

Another version was recorded in 1893 in Inwards' Weather Lore:

"if it rains while the sun is shining the devil is beating his grandmother."


T 6 Thoughts

6 Thoughts

I have also heard that if the sun is out when it rains that in Puerto Rico’s version is that it means “The Witch is getting Married.”

- Luv2laf July 2, 2020

I heard that if you put the pin in a tree you could hear her crying.

- Luv2laf July 2, 2020

Funny, in Marion, SC, a coworker during a sun shower “the devil is beating his wife”… I said “where the heck did you hear that?” She then said “if it lightenings during a sun shower, ‘the devil is beating his wife behind the kitchen door’”

Cracked me up!

- Pati July 1, 2020

I heard that when it is raining while the sun is shining that the devil is beating his wife and that if you stick a pin in the ground, you can hear his wife crying and screaming.

- Anonymous June 21, 2020

Learned from my grandmother when I would play in the summer rains trying to find the spot where the rained stopped and began.

- Anonymous June 21, 2020

Cool, never knew this

- Me December 9, 2018

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