Devil is Beating His Wife

Contents: Meaning | Origin | Spread

Meaning

What does Devil is Beating His Wife mean?

Devil is beating his wife is a regional colloquialism, referring to sunshowers, or when the sun shines, while it is raining.

Its variant, the “Devil is beating his wife and marrying his daughter” may also be called the Devil’s Threesome, although that expression refers to something else.

In South Africa, the phenomenon is referred to as “Monkey wedding”.

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Origin

What's the origin of Devil is Beating His Wife?

Although the exact origin of the phrase is not known, it is said to come from folklore.

Its French form, “le diable bat sa femmefirst appeared in print in a 1710 dictionary: “Dictionnaire des Proverbes François”.

The first written case of the expression appearing in English can be linked to the 1738 prose of Jonathan Swift, titled Polite Conversation.

Spread & Usage

How did Devil is Beating His Wife spread?

Over the centuries, the popularity of the expression rose and dwindled, with its popularity peaking in the 1950’s.

Nowadays, the active use of “Devil is beating his wife” is limited to certain regions in the world, with the Southern United States and Utah serving as the regions where it is the most popular, although outside of the Anglosphere, the phrase is also widely used in Hungary.

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