The awesome power of rain makes it ripe for Biblical sized metaphors. Rain metaphors can often relate to God, Noah’s Ark, or the delivery of fate (especially for farmers).
Other metaphors for rain relate to personification. We can consider rain to be acting upon us – be it spitting, punishing or entertaining!
Here’s a short overview of all 9 rain metaphors, similes, idioms and analogies in this list:
- God’s Tears
- Nature’s Bath
- A Wall
- The Farmer’s Gift
- Daggers from the Sky
- A Shroud of Misery
- Giving the Trees a Drink
- Popcorn on the Roof
And here are some personification metaphors:
- Rain is playful
- Rain is punishing
- Rain spits
Read below for explanations of each!
Metaphors for Rain
1. God’s Tears
I can imagine people 500 years ago wondered where on earth the rain came from. Maybe it’s from God up above, showering the water down on us.
But they might have also interpreted the rain as tears from god.
This is a great rain metaphor that you might use in a short story or novel if the rain is falling following a particularly sad event like a battle in which lots of lives were lost.
2. Nature’s Bath
Fresh rainfall can wash and cleanse nature. Just like we jump into a shower to wash ourselves off, rain outdoors washes off the trees, meadows and rocks. This metaphor can be particularly powerful if the rain is breaking a drought or coming in after a dust storm, when we might expect the outdoors to be particularly dusty!
3. A Wall of Rain
This is my favorite rain metaphor on this list. Rain never forms an actual wall, of course. But sometimes when it rains so heavily, it looks like a wall. This is particularly true when you’re driving and the rain is so thick you can’t see beyond.
> Read Also: The Symbolism of Rain
4. The Farmer’s Gift
The idea that rain is a ‘gift’ is figurative, not literal. If it were a gift – who did it come from? But sometimes when rain breaks a drought, it’s a blessing for farmers. So we might call it a ‘gift to the farmers’ because it gives them the much needed moisture for their crops to grow.
5. Daggers from the Sky
Sometimes when the rain is cold and heavy it feels like little daggers on the skin. You might also call it pins from the sky. This is a particularly vivid metaphor (or simile, if you use that term ‘like’ as I did in the previous sentence) because in your mind you can almost see daggers falling from the sky.
6. A Shroud of Misery
A shroud is a garment that covers something in order to obscure it. But when we call the rain a shroud, we can imagine it being placed over the whole world. We can’t see through it, so when looking outward our vision is obscured.
But we’re also shrouded in. This metaphor is often used when referring to rain in a negative sense – the shroud is holding us in and holding us down, making us feel oppressed and sad.
7. Giving the Trees a Drink
I like this idea of the rain giving the trees a drink. Of course, trees need water to grow. But when we’re saying the rain is giving the trees a drink, it feels like the rain is a gardener, taking care of its plants and ensuring the world’s ecosystem is healthy and growing.
8. Popcorn on the Roof
This metaphor refers to the sound of rain, particularly when it’s heavy on a tin roof. As a child, I used to love lying in my bed listening to the rain on my tin roof. When it’s spotted and sporadic it sounded just like popcorn popping away as I drifted to sleep.
Personification is a type of metaphor because it gives rain personality traits that it doesn’t have. Here, we are still using figurative language and saying that rain is something that it really isn’t. But, we’re mostly giving rain human features here.
9. Rain is Playful
Some children love to play in the rain. Jumping in puddles can really bring out the creativity in us. To say that rain is playful gives us this sense that the rain is pouring down in order to deliver us a new playground to enjoy.
10. Rain is Punishing
While sometimes we consider rain to be playful, at other times it can feel like it’s punishing us. The rain can fall from the sky relentlessly almost as if it’s grounding us. We’re blocked from going outside, enjoying sunshine and getting on with our lives.
This metaphor may also link to the Biblical flood, which was a symbol from god that the world had betrayed him and turned to evil. In this instance, the rain and floods were punishments.
11. The Rain Spits
Of course, rain can’t spit. It is not an animal or human. It doesn’t even have a mouth! But spitting and raining are similar in that small dispersed droplets of water fall to the ground! Usually, to say the rain is spitting is to talk about gentle rainfall with the rain drops spread a little further apart than from a downfall.
Conclusion – What are the Best Rain Metaphors?
Metaphors for rain can help writers to create evocative stories or even speakers communicate on topics more effectively. The best rain metaphors tend to refer to the way it makes us feel – playful, hurt, sad, or happy. But we’ve seen that there are also many rain metaphors that employ personification to explore how the rain seems to act on us by spitting, punishing and playing.
I’m a Scorpio, I love the outdoors, and I’ve written articles in some major online publications like Medium and The Weekly. My favorite metaphor? Anything that’s got to do with baseball. I’m fascinated by the fact our language has baseball weaved all through it. Read more about me here.