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Don’t rain on my parade

  • The idiom don’t rain on my parade became popular in the 1960s, though its roots go back further. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase, or phrasal verbs that have a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. These figures of speech often use descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often colloquialisms or descriptors that are spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase or expression that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions that native speakers understand such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, eye to eye, barking up the wrong tree, bite the bullet, beat a dead horse, hit the nail on the head, kicked the bucket, blow off steam, jump on the bandwagon, piece of cake, hit the sack, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. It is possible to memorize a list of idioms, but it may be easier to pay attention to the use of idioms in everyday speech, where peculiar imagery will tell you that the expressions should not be taken literally. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase don’t rain on my parade, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Don’t rain on my parade is an admonishment to not ruin someone’s enthusiasm, to not put a damper upon the proceedings, to not spoil someone’s fun. The phrase don’t rain on my parade gained popularity in the 1960s when a song by the same name was performed in the stage musical, Funny Girl. Bob Merrill and Jule Styne wrote the music and lyrics for the production about the comedienne, Fanny Brice. Many believe this is the sole origin of the expression don’t rain on my parade, but the phrase rain on the parade used as an idiom may be found as early as 1912, published in the Schenectady Gazette.

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    Examples

    Don’t rain on my parade: Curtin Liberal hopeful Celia Hammond described LGBT rainbow stickers as ‘divisive’ (The West Australian)

    “Rain or shine, we always say as gays, ‘don’t rain on my parade’,” said Caleb, a Londoner spending his second year at the Pride parade. (Global News)

    So, if you happen to see someone decorating really early for Christmas, don’t rain on their parade and tell them it is too soon for the trees and lights. (The Inquisitr)


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