Weather Blog

Rain and sun at the same time? It must be a 'monkey's wedding'

Rain and sun at the same time? It must be a 'monkey's wedding'
Double rainbow forms over Port Orchard on Jan. 7, 2011. (Photo: YouNews contributor JamesMiller)

It's amazing what you learn from Twitter. Earlier this month when Seattle had our big thunderstorms one minute and blazing sunshine the next, I received an interesting Tweet from @jakaroo65: "Where I grew up, if it's sunny and raining at the same time, it's a Monkeys Wedding!!!"

I had never heard the term before, but come to find out it's of South African origin (she later told me she's from Durban.) It's also common to have it referred to as a "jackals wedding."

The term is loosely tied to the fact that you have two unusual items coming together -- as in rain and sun together is like two monkeys getting married.

But it's not just South Africa. Apparently the animal wedding theme is prevalent across the globe, only the animals vary by region. One of my fellow web producers says in Korea, it's known as a tiger's wedding.

And according to, in Arabic, it's the rats who get married, while in Bulgaria, it's the bears that are getting hitched.

I normally hate to cite Wikipedia because who knows if the source of the content is accurate, but this entry seems to have quite the complete list of variances of the term around the world. And who am I, a native of the Pacific Northwest, to say no? Growing up around here, sun and rain at the same time was called "Saturday". Or "soccer practice". Or "April".

Some other things I did find really amusing while surfing the web: According to that worldwidewords site, in the Deep South the term for rain and sun together is: "The devil is behind the kitchen door beating his wife with a frying pan."

I would absolutely LOVE to find out who came up with that elaborate description and how that ties to rain and sun at the same time. Maybe there it's more like a simultaneous thunderstorm and sunbreak? Perhaps any of you who grew up in the South can fill me in using the comment section below.

Or maybe it's just been elaborated in the south. The devil comment is shared in other world regions, although usually shortened to just "the devil is beating his wife," or in France, it's "the devil is beating his wife and marrying his daughter."

Wikipedia world seems to think that the entire U.S calls rain and sun together as a "sunshower" but to be honest, I've never heard that up here. I've heard some Northwesterners call it "liquid sunshine," although in the forecast I usually refer to it as "showers and sunbreaks."

But maybe we need our own colloquialism for Seattle? Perhaps something along the lines of: "The cat is playing horseshoes with the French poodle under the flying fish at the Market." Makes about as much sense! Give me your ideas below or Tweet them to @ScottSKOMO, or post them on my Facebook page.

(Scott's note: Someone has since suggested on Twitter we include Rachel the pig in the Seattle saying. So how about we change it to: "The pig and the mermaid are playing horseshoes under the flying fish at the Market")

In the meantime, long range forecasts indicate a lot of monkeys will be getting hitched over the next two weeks. (Or, is that cats will be playing horseshoes?)