To spoil someone’s fun or plans; ruining a pleasurable moment.
Example: Jessica was going on vacation to Japan with her husband. They were going to leave in a week, and she was looking forward to it. That is, until her husband said, “I don’t want to rain on your parade, Jessica, but our vacation plans will have to be delayed for a month.”
In other words, he didn’t want to ruin her excitement.
Origin Of ‘Rain On Your Parade’
It looks like this phrase originated from a popular 1964 song called “Don’t Rain on my Parade,” written by Bob Merrill and composed by Jule Styne. It was sung during the musical Funny Girl. Due to the fact that I am unable to find the phrase in writing before this time, I’ve come to the conclusion that this song must be where the expression comes from, but if not, then the song at least popularized the term.
As mentioned, the earliest I could find this phrase in writing is from 1964. There are several references from this year about the song. For example, in the Cumberland Evening Times newspaper, there’s a part that reads:
“Composer Jule Stype and lyricist – Bob Merrill are at the top in their specialities, and they have provided several good songs . . . But they have let Miss Stresiand down in two vital numbers, ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’ and ‘Who Are You Now?’ with the result that the show suffers.”
Later on, the phrase started to be used in a figurative way. An example of this is seen in a magazine called Mademoiselle, 1969:
“And the next day, when five members of Parliament drop into Boston unexpectedly, and the sound system for a dark dedication is lost en route, and it looks like it might rain on her parade, she’ll need that extra time.”
- Will, I don’t want to rain on your parade, but I’m feeling sick. So I won’t be able to make it to your brother’s wedding.
- Jake is going to see a movie that just released in theaters. His friend has already seen the movie, so he doesn’t want him to rain on his parade by spoiling what happens.
Note: If you’re looking for the meaning of hundreds of common phrases, sayings, and idioms, we have that. But as for their origin, well, sometimes this is unclear. What you’ll see included on the page in cases of an unknown origin are explanations for how an idiom may come in existence. Even though these may sound plausible, remember that it might not actually be the case.
Additionally, if you see a certain saying in a quote from an old newspaper, this does not mean it originated from that source. Honestly, if a saying is already being used in a form of media like that, it’s probably from an even earlier time. So what’s the point of the quotes, then? To give you an idea about the saying’s age.