University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Southern California
Accountant for Make a Wish
25 April 2011
Folk speech- The Devil is beating his wife.
Used in the context of when it’s Sunny but still Raining.
“I think this is folklore. I once pointed out to my mother that it was weird that it was sunny outside but still raining. My mother um she replied kinda in a matter of fact tone, that it was because the Devil was beating is wife. I just went with it, I didnt really understand why. Let’s imagine that this was real, and the Devil inhabited some real space in the world. Rain falls down, is the Devil in heaven then? Makes more sense that Jesus was crying cause were sinners or something.” Clearly, RA was focusing on the validity of the argument for using the Devil in this metaphor.
Though what RA said does make some kind of sense, I feel that there might be no real reason why this strange event is referred by this phrase. Disregarding this though, the idea behind this phrase is that the rain represents the tears being shed by the woman being beaten. It also makes sense, that the Devil, who personifies evil in Christian tradition, would be beating his wife. It would not surprise me if this metaphor was really old, going back to a time when most people were farmers, an occupation where understanding weather was very important. I had only heard this phrase once before from a friend. The only things they both had in common was that they were both from the Southwest, RA is from Arizona, my other friend was from Texas, and they were both self identified Christians. There is a good chance, that they both used this phrase because they were from a similar geographic area with little rain or because of the Christian overtones that are inherent in the metaphor.