The Devil’s Beatin’ His Wife

It was a beautiful sunny day all around my house yesterday except for the one dark cloud brooding above my roof. I was sitting on my back porch cleansing my pores (or glistening as we southern women call sweat), as the cloud began to weep big tears of grief on my patio. I told little Latté (our shih tzu) that the devil was surely beating his wife this morning. She looked at me as if she were from China or something. Southern expressions like this have been around for years, but who knows where they originated?

Devil's beatin his wife

My mother passed this one down to us girls, as she’d say anytime it was raining on a sunny day, “the devil’s beatin his wife.” The origin is unknown but here are several other sayings that relate to rain during a sunny day.

  • In South Africa the phrase, “it’s a monkey’s wedding,” has been heard when the sky is smiling and frowning at the same time. (huh?)
  • In Louisiana you might here someone say, “the devil’s beatin’ his wife for burnin’ up the rice.”
  • Some of us Alabama folks might add “with a fryin’ pan.”
  • New Jersey folks say, “the devil’s chasing his wife.”
  • In Quebec you might here a French mother tell her enfants, “Le diable est battu est femme.” (Man that sounds so much more sophisticated, doesn’t it?)

Devil's Beatin' His Wife

But, I have to ask, when exactly did Lucifer get married and who would have officiated that marriage? Wouldn’t he just have a concubine or harem? And what exactly would she have done worthy of a beating? I mean, really, she’s the DEVIL’S wife!

And if she is receiving a beating so bad that her tears are the rain on a sunny day, are we suppose to feel sorry for her? I just want to scream at her – get out when you can; but then I remember she’s in Hell. And like the song, Hotel California says, “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

devil's beating his wife

That’s what you get for marrying the devil.

7 thoughts on “The Devil’s Beatin’ His Wife

    1. Lorraine, I’ve heard and often repeated the cats and dogs phrase. Now you have a new southern expression to share with your northern friends and family. 😉

  1. When there was a huge storm brewing, I can hear my daddy say, “Looks like it is going to be a toad strangler and a trash mover”.

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