A cow peeing on a flat rock

ExpatCat

Senior Member
Spanish, Cursive (bilingual)
Hi,

The situation is as follows: it's raining cats and dogs.
Can I use the following phrase to describe it:

It's raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock.

I suppose it's a humorous reference, right?
Best,
Jose.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Can you use it? Yes, I suppose so, if you really want to. But I'd be puzzled if I heard it - "a cow peeing" would conjure up the mental image of a single stream of urine, and I wouldn't be able to associate that with rain:(.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    A very good invention! Is this a translation from Spanish? I find (living in France) that people are often amused when I translate English similes into French, so long as they are real similes and not idioms.

    E.g., the two following are translated directly from French:
    1. It's raining like a cow pissing.
    2. It's raining halberds.

    No.1 works perfectly well (so long as you're familiar with the sheer torrent of a cow's urine, Loob); no.2 doesn't. (The English say stair-rods, not halberds.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    No.1 works perfectly well (so long as you're familiar with the sheer torrent of a cow's urine, Loob).
    Oh, I'm not saying ExpatCat's phrase doesn't work in Spanish French, Keith. And we have "rain-compared- with-pee" expressions in English, of course: it was pissing it down. But I am saying I would be puzzled by ExpatCat's phrase if someone said it to me in the course of a conversation in English.
     
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    Uncle Bob

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is only after thinking about it that I cottoned on to the complete image, for which no equivalent exists among the English expressions that I know. The "on a flat rock" means the liquid is bouncing back up as very hard rain does.
    It's certainly something I will be using in the right circumstances, thanks ExpatCat.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you want to be disgusting and puzzling at the same time, you can say it, and if you want people to wonder about your background. My problem is that it's a very long time since I saw a cow peeing anywhere, let alone on a flat rock, so I had to think very hard about that and then found myself wondering why a cow would be standing on a flat rock and how very little rain resembles a stream of urine. Not worth the effort really, but I'd have put you on my Z-list.

    :)

    Hermione
     

    ExpatCat

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Cursive (bilingual)
    Thank you guys.
    A very good invention! Is this a translation from Spanish?
    :)
    Hehe, no, I just heard it on the radio.
    This expression amused me so I Google-searched for it and found a bunch of references (over 25000 hits). This prompted me to ask this question (since the dictionaries I use have no mention of this colorful expression).

    I see that the expression goes over well with you guys, so it's safe to use it.

    Thanks for your input!
     

    modulus

    Senior Member
    ইংরেজি - আমেরিক
    It is only after thinking about it that I cottoned on to the complete image, for which no equivalent exists among the English expressions that I know. The "on a flat rock" means the liquid is bouncing back up as very hard rain does.
    It's certainly something I will be using in the right circumstances, thanks ExpatCat.
    That's the image that I got too.

    In passing, the common way of saying this in Spanish has nothing to do with a cow and a flat rock. Roughly traslated, they say: it is raining pitchers.
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I see that the expression goes over well with you guys, so it's safe to use it.
    I think you might want to re-read the whole thread, ExpatCat! But you're right, it does get a fair few google hits - maybe it's common in some parts of the world:D.
     
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    ExpatCat

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Cursive (bilingual)
    I think you might want to re-read the whole thread, ExpatCat! But you're right, it does get a fair few google hits - maybe it's common in some parts of the world:D.
    Ops, I see that some frowned upon this expression.
    I'll use it with caution then. :)
    Thanks for mentioning it!
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I see most of the respondents speak BE ... in my experience it's a widely known, but now seldom used, expression with a slight change: It's raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock. If you Google "pissing on a flat rock," you'll find many results.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    A very good invention! Is this a translation from Spanish? I find (living in France) that people are often amused when I translate English similes into French, so long as they are real similes and not idioms.

    E.g., the two following are translated directly from French:
    1. It's raining like a cow pissing.
    2. It's raining halberds.

    No.1 works perfectly well (so long as you're familiar with the sheer torrent of a cow's urine, Loob); no.2 doesn't. (The English say stair-rods, not halberds.)
    Many rain-related (weather-related) saying from different languages are fairly close (say, we have "rains buckets" expression and so does, for instance, Russian - "rains as if it was from a bucket"), probably due to the nature of the subject, and when translated, unless they are reeeeeaaaally metaphorical, like "cats and dogs" one (this does require good imagination), most of them will be readily understood, though will sound foreign.


    Does it make that much difference if one said "peeing" vs. "pissing"?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Does it make that much difference if one said "peeing" vs. "pissing"?
    From the Google search I suggested:

    "pissing on a flat rock": 471 results
    "peeing on a flat rock": 310 results

    I've never heard the "peeing" version from anyone in my Midwest past, but obviously it's used.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    http://www.lindapages.com/colloq.html

    This is a website of saying, compiled by a native Virginian, who gathered phrases that she or other family members used in conversations.

    "Raining like an old cow pissing on a flat rock" .


    (here's my favorite from there:

    "Jumpy as a fart on a griddle" :D )
     

    modulus

    Senior Member
    ইংরেজি - আমেরিক
    I see most of the respondents speak BE ... in my experience it's a widely known, but now seldom used, expression with a slight change: It's raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock. If you Google "pissing on a flat rock," you'll find many results.
    I take your word for it. But I swear I'd never heard this before, and this is not something you’d forget hearing.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I have heard the original phrase fairly often, but more often with a horse than a cow, and definitely pissing. I suspect that you would hear this more often from a person raised in a rural setting (who has seen it), and most often among men, particularly men who are accustomed to using rough language. It is very "colorful" vernacular, and best suited for very informal (and single-sex) occasions. It might be used in mixed company, but would be intended to clearly establish the narrator as a rough, rural, plain-spoken character - a cowboy or cowgirl. (AE)
     
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