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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

If you’ve ever heard this phrase and were completely confused about what it meant or where it came from, I’m here to give you the backstory and the scientific phenomenon behind it.


The phrase “April showers bring May flowers” has a scientific basis rooted in the seasonal changes that occur in temperate regions where spring is a transitional season characterized by increasing temperatures and changing weather patterns. In April, as the temperatures begin to rise, there is often a shift in atmospheric conditions that leads to an increase in rainfall. This rainy weather is beneficial for plants and flowers for several reasons: moisture, temperature, nutrients, germination, and prevention of drought stress. Overall, the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” highlights the important role that rainfall plays in supporting plant growth and flowering in the spring. The combination of all these things in April sets the stage for the blooming of flowers in May, creating a vibrant display of color and new growth in the natural world. 

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Moreover, the reason behind the creation of this phrase is believed to be a simple observation of the natural world and the seasonal changes that occur in temperate regions. The saying likely originated during a time when people closely observed the environment and its effects on agriculture and plant life. It may have originated in England or another part of Europe, where the weather patterns in April and May often include increased rainfall followed by blooming flowers. Over time, the saying became a popular proverbial expression used to convey the idea that difficult or unpleasant circumstances (the “showers” of April) can lead to positive outcomes (the “flowers” of May) in the future. The phrase has been used in various forms in literature and folklore over the years, and it has become a common saying in English-speaking countries. The oldest form of this phrase I found comes from a short poem, written in 1157 by Thomas Tusser, included in the April section of a collection of his writings titled A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry. Tussers line goes as follows: “Sweete April showers, Doo spring Maie flowers.” meaning “Sweet April showers, Do spring May flowers.” 

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The modern meaning of the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” extends beyond its literal interpretation of the relationship between spring rain and blooming flowers. While it still acknowledges the cyclical nature of the seasons and the hopefulness of new growth, the phrase has also taken on a metaphorical meaning in contemporary usage. As I said before, this saying often suggests that enduring difficult or challenging times can lead to positive outcomes in the future. Just as the rainy weather in April helps to nourish the soil and prepare it for the blooming of flowers in May, the challenges and hardships we face in life can contribute to personal growth and eventual success. The phrase is often used to encourage perseverance and optimism in the face of adversity. It reminds us that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of life’s cycle, and that they can ultimately lead to greater resilience, strength, and personal development. By weathering the “showers” of life, we can emerge stronger and more prepared to enjoy the “flowers” of success and fulfillment that follow. 

Overall, the modern meaning of “April showers bring May flowers” is one of hope, resilience, and the belief that difficult times can lead to brighter days ahead. It serves as a reminder to stay positive and keep moving forward, even when the road ahead seems challenging. 

Ariana Villanueva is a writer at the Her Campus at UPR chapter. Her content creation focuses mainly on firsthand experiences, physical activity, and experimental fashion and even food! Prior to Her Campus, she collaborated in her high school newspaper and for as long as she can remember she has been drafting short stories, pretend news reports, and even book reports, just for fun. Having the opportunity to share her writing, beyond a grade, has been a thrilling experience for her. She is currently attending the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras campus, as a political science major , and she’s eager to explore more fields of study. Ariana loves reading and spending time with friends. However, occasionally, she loves going on solo trips to the beach. Her biggest dream is to travel the world, and she’ll take her first step in accomplishing it by studying abroad very soon.