Posted by James Briggs on July 26, 2007
In Reply to: Coming down like the bars of hell posted by ESC on July 26, 2007
: : Rain "coming down like the bars of hell" --- in the recent discussion of this comparison, absent was any mention of why bars would be "coming down". The image is of a portcullis, handily defined by the OED:
: : "A strong barrier in the form of a grating of wooden or iron bars, usually suspended by chains above the gateway of a fortress, a fortified town, etc., and able to secure the entrance quickly by being released to slide down vertical grooves in the sides of the gateway."
: : We may understand that the rain in the comparison is falling suddenly, swiftly, and with implacable force.
: Interesting! I can't wait until it rains so I can use that phrase.
If you want rain, then come to the west of England where I live - much of it is under flood water several metres deep. 1000s are without fresh water. No actual flood where I live, but the rain has come down 'like the bars of hell', or , as I'm more used to, 'like stair rods'!