Posted by Shae on December 02, 2003
In Reply to: UK help needed: stair-rods posted by pdianek on December 02, 2003
: : : From the Guardian: "And so, while the rain may have been battering down in stair-rods yesterday from sodden skies, every eye in Redcar remained determinedly, defiantly dry." Likely raining cats and dogs, okay, but stair-rods? What are those, and what is their connection to rain? Thanks!
: : Will Irish help do? ;) Stair-rods are thin rods used on carpeted stairs. They are anchored over the carpet at the bottom of each riser to keep the carpet in place. The term is used figuratively to describe a deluge of large raindrops falling vertically.
: Thanks, Shae. Maybe some further elucidation? While, absent wind, rain falls vertically, stair-rods are clearly used on the horizontal -- so does this mean the Guardian writer's implying that in Redcar the wind and rain were so ferocious that rain was being blown horizontally? Or am I reading too much into it? Is it a common Irish or UK expression, "raining like stair-rods"? -- or was the writer simply reaching beyond pets? Ta.
As Ms Camel wrote so elegantly: 'the image is of rain so heavy and relentless it appears to fall in solid shafts rather than individual drops.' The comparison is with the dimensions of the stair-rods rather than with their orientation.
Stair-rods have been replaced by other methods of attaching carpets to stairs, so I suspect the expression isn't familiar to the younger generation.