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The History and Significance of the Saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers”

In the month of April, the proverb, April showers bring May flowers is commonly used. But April isn’t the rainiest month of the year, at least in America, making us wonder why the saying is about April and not other rainy months. Another question is if these showers really bring flowers in May. We’ll explore the origins of the saying in this article.

Where did the saying originate?

The saying April showers bring May flowers originated from the United Kingdom. The lower temperatures often push back the blooming of flowers to early May, so that’s why they are referred to as May flowers.

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Thanks to the jet stream position, April has always been one of the soggy months in the United Kingdom. So, as the last bit of snow turns to rain, we have what is called the April showers, which spark the blooming of flowers.

A poem remnant

Interestingly, the famous statement is believed to be from a poem that was written in the 1610s. 

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The original phrase goes, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers,” and was commonly used in the late 1800s. Of course, the original proverb has been readapted as language evolves.

The agriculture significance

Of course, you don’t have to be an agricultural expert to know the saying, April showers bring May flowers, is related to plants. For the older folks to have come up with this saying, there must be some ‘agricultural truth’ there.

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The science behind this popular statement is that a higher proportion of rainfall paves the way for flowers to start blooming. The cool April temperatures signal plants to begin crawling out from beneath the soil.

Does the saying always ring true?

The fact that this saying is considered to be generally true doesn’t make it an absolute truth; you’ll agree with us. While rainfall is generally good for plants, different plants have different growth requirements.

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This means some plants may not bloom in early May because April showers aren’t enough- they only start to bloom after heavy rainfall. Furthermore, even in the UK, these showers might come earlier or later due to climate change, making some flowers die prematurely.

Is the saying all about agriculture and weather?

Just like other proverbs, this English saying isn’t just limited to the technical aspect. By extension, the proverb teaches us that a circumstance leads to a different one in different stages of life. 

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The saying is used to explain the fact that a period of suffering or hardship can be the foundation for a period of joy and enjoyment. One can liken this saying to others about patience, such as ‘The darkest hour is before dawn.’ 

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