Trivia

Hard

Which One Of These Common Idioms Was Originally An Advertising Slogan?

When It Rains It Pours
A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned
A Stitch In Time Saves Nine
Time Flies When You're Having Fun
Morton Salt's famous little girl walking in the rain with salt logo.
Morton Salt

Answer: When It Rains It Pours

When it comes to idioms, it’s incredibly difficult to pin down where the vast majority of them came from. It would be easy (and erroneous), for example, to attribute the idiom “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” to the economist Milton Friedman, who not only used it in economics literature, but even used it as the title of a book in 1975. The phrase predates him significantly, however, and there’s no specifically known originator of the phrase.

That’s what makes the focus of our trivia today so particularly interesting—we know exactly where “when it rains it pours” comes from. Although the phrase today has a negative connotation indicating that bad things tend to flood into your life at once (as in “My car broke down, my office is flooded, and my son just called from the ER… when it rains it pours!”), it was originally an extremely clever and positive marketing slogan.

Historically, on rainy days (or in generally humid climates), table salt poured very poorly as the humidity caused the salt to clump together. In the early 20th century, the Morton Salt Company introduced a significant new development into the industry by adding small amounts of magnesium carbonate to their table salt. The inclusion of the anti-caking agent resulted in salt that would pour freely even when it was humid out, and “When it rains, it pours!” was a brilliant marketing campaign that highlighted the benefits of using Morton brand salt.

While the slogan is still a registered trademark of the company, you won’t frequently find it on their packaging these days. That said, however, it still lives on in the form of Morton’s iconic branding. To this day, Morton table salt features a girl walking in the rain, umbrella held above her head, with a container of salt under her arm pouring freely as she walks because, naturally, when you’ve got a good salt, even when it rains it pours.

Trivia

Hard

Which Consumer Product Maintained An Unusually Stable Price For Almost A Century?

Trivia

Hard

What Was Apple’s Code Name For The iPod?

Trivia

Hard

Famed Greek Mathematician Pythagoras Invented A Device To Defend Against?

Trivia

Hard

Which Spacecraft Was The First To Use Integrated Circuits?

Trivia

Hard

The Phrase “Always A Bridesmaid But Never A Bride” Was Coined By A Company Selling?

Trivia

Hard

Director Of The Iconic Film “The Red Balloon” Also Invented Which Of These Iconic Board Games?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Boxer Crab Clutches Which Of These Things In Its Claws As A Weapon?

Trivia

Hard

Many Medieval Manuscripts Inexplicably Feature Illuminations Of Knights Fighting?

Trivia

Hard

Which Celebrity Named His Daughter After A Video Game Heroine?

Trivia

Easy

MP3, The Ubiquitous File Type, Stands For What?