What Does It Could Be Worse; It Could Be Raining Mean?

It Could Be Worse; It Could Be Raining Meaning

Definition: Things are terrible, but at least the weather is okay.

Sometimes, people simply shorten this phrase to could be worse; could be raining.

Origin of It Could Be Worse; It Could Be Raining

People use this expression both sincerely and sarcastically.

They use it sincerely when they are having a very bad experience and are trying to find any positive thing to comment on.

They use it sarcastically when they are having a very bad experience and it is either already raining, or about to rain. In this case, they are using it to emphasize that things are so bad that they couldn’t possibly get worse.

young frankenstein quotes This expression became popular after it appeared as a joke in the film Young Frankenstein, from the year 1974. Many consider this film to be a classic in the comedy genre. The saying could have predated its usage in the film. However, most people nowadays associate it with the film, if they think about its origin at all.

In the film, two characters (Dr. Frankenstein and Igor) are digging up a body in the cemetery. They need to do this for research on the reanimation of dead bodies, but they are having an awful time because they are covered in dirt and doing such an undesirable task.

Igor tries to find something positive to say, so he says that it could be worse because it could be raining. Immediately the characters hear a loud crack of thunder and rain begins to pour down.

Examples of It Could Be Worse; It Could Be Raining

gene wilder frankenstein quotesIn this conversation, two high-school students are discussing how awful their final exam is in their flora identification class. They use the expression sincerely.

Lisa: I can’t believe that we have to identify 10 native plants out in the field! This is going to take so long, and I’m terrible at identifying plants.

Annie: I know. This is the worst test ever.

Lisa: Oh well, I guess it could be worse. It could be raining!

Annie: That’s true. At least it’s a nice day to be outside.

In the dialogue below, two friends use the expression sarcastically.

Seth: Jimmy! What’s wrong! Why are you lying on the ground out here on the sidewalk?

Jimmy: I slipped on some ice and hurt my ankle. I think it might be broken.

Seth: Are you serious? That’s awful. Let me help you up and take you to a hospital.

Jimmy: It’s not so bad. It could be worse. It could be raining.

Seth: It is raining.

Jimmy: I know. I was just joking. It definitely couldn’t be worse.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about a natural disaster, a giant mudslide, that stopped traffic on a major road.

On Highway 17, drivers took the long wait in stride looking on the bright side.

“I have no choice, “ said LeGrand. “I have to go to work. Patience and dealing with it.”

“It could be worse,” said Graves. “It could be raining right now and it’s not.” –Fox KTVU

This excerpt consists of the author complaining about other people on the London subway system. He lists several overused jokes people say while riding, which annoy him.

  • Now every driver on the London Underground fancies himself as an alternative comedian. All we want is to go to work and home again as painlessly as being squashed into a sealed wagon allows. Instead we get: “Room for a little ’un, as the actress said to the bishop. Mind the doors. Cheer up. It could be worse, it could be raining.” The comic patter is the wasp in the diving suit. –Telegraph

Summary

The expression it could be worse. It could be raining is something say to try to find the bright side in a dark situation, as in at least the weather is nice.

[i]
[i]