Why do we say "Save For A Rainy Day"?

Well-Known Expressions

Save For A Rainy Day


Save it for a time of need


This expression can be traced back to the mid 16th century in Britain. Its first known use is in a play, The Bugbears, first performed in or around 1561:

"Wold he haue me kepe nothing against a raynye day?"
(would he have me keep nothing for a rainy day?)

It appears that The Bugbears was translated from Antonio Francesco Grazzini's La Spirita by a now unknown author, and only one manuscript of the play exists.

But what, you might ask, is a bugbear?

Today a bugbear is a pet peeve - something that a particular individual finds especially annoying. But in medieval England, a bugbear was a sort of hobgoblin, depicted as a sinister bear that lurked deep in the woods to scare children. Sources differ on the derivation of bug but it is likely from one or more of bugge (a Middle English word for a frightening thing) and bogill (old Scots for goblin). Presumably, bogeyman and bugaboo share the same roots.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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