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Posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 26, 2007

In Reply to: Stair-rods posted by lewis 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.

: I like the simile of 'stair-rods' - stair rods are metal rods of 1/4-1/2 cm diameter or so which secure carpet on stairways for safety. rain in droplets that thick appear to make rods as they pass the eyes, so it is a good comparison.

: I was in Brussels a few weeks ago and there was rain like that - a virtual monsoon and I managed to capture some 'stair-rods' on camera.

: L

The French say "Il pleut des cordes" ("It's raining ropes"), which I think is a good image too. (VSD)