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The French expression "Il pleut comme vache qui pisse"

Are you ready to find out everything you need to know about the funny French expression "Il pleut comme vache qui pisse"? It includes a full explanation of what it mean and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. And because we want to help you on your learning journey, we also added useful stuff like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : It's raining a lot

  • Literal meaning : It's raining like a peeing cow

  • Register : Informal - Funny

How to pronounce it?



  • IPA : / il plø kɔm vaʃ ki pis /

aesthetic french quote pleut comme vache qui pisse

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What does it mean?


It literally means:

This expression dates from the second half of the 19th century. This is an image to say that it rains a lot since, indeed, when a cow urinates it drops a rather impressive quantity of liquid in the grass compared to a human.

But why a cow? There are bigger animals, no? Well, the choice seems to be based on the biggest animal a French peasant would see in everyday life back in time. Too bad they didn't have elephants.

How to use it

Instead of saying "Il pleut beaucoup" (It's raining a lot) or using the expression "Il pleut des cordes" (It's raining ropes) you can use "Il pleut comme vache qui pisse" to make it funnier.

But beware, this is familiar and isn't appropriate for formal contexts, typically at work.

Fun fact

Associating animals with heavy rain seems to be a common theme in English too, there is a saying: "It's raining cats and dogs" when it's raining heavily.

Synonyms / Related

Example in a dialogue with French audio


Bordel ! Il pleut comme vache qui pisse !

Dammit, it's raining like a peeing cow!*

Oh non, ça fait chier !

Oh no, crap!

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