April Showers…Read for Hours

We've all heard the phrase "April showers bring May flowers," but where does the expression come from?

If you ever find yourself facing such a query, I highly recommend that you pick up your favorite Dictionary of Proverbs or Book of Quotations. The St. Tammany Parish Library has several to chose from. I checked in The Yale Book of QuotationsA Dictionary of American Proverbs, and Cassell's Dictionary of Proverbs, which all had slightly different answers to the origins of the saying:


One of the earliest appearances is in Thomas Tusser's 1557 book, Five Hundred Points of Good HusbandryThen again in 1670 in John Ray's English Proverbs.

This piece of horticultural wisdom, therefore, dates at least to the sixteenth century or earlier. Some see evidence of it in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Wherever it comes from, the saying has become an everyday part of our lexicon, and has inspired this month's display at the Mandeville Branch. All of the titles have a little precipitation of their own. For a preview check out one of the titles below: 

Storm Front

Raining Cats & Dogs

Thunder Bay

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of St. Tammany Parish Library