[Ads-l] rain = clients (that bring in revenue)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 16 07:02:08 UTC 2018

Appears to be a kind of back-formation from "rainmaker." OED3 has the
relevant sense:

4. fig. Business (orig. U.S.). A person who generates business or income
for a company or organization, esp. by attracting clients.
1897   Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Jrnl. 8 Dec. 4/2   He does not make any
special exhibit of his financial rain maker, Mr. Wolcott.
1971   Washington Post 16 May b3/1   'He was mostly a rainmaker,' the kind
of legal agent who makes things happen.
1989   Toronto Star (Nexis) 26 Mar. f2   These are the rainmakers who are
leaving. These are the guys who bring in the business.
1999   N.Y. Mag. 20 Sept. 32/3   A Democratic rainmaker who raised $1.5
million for Democratic candidates.
2002   P. Augar & J. Palmer Rise Player Manager xiii. 286   Heroes in the
professions are those in the front line: the star barristers, the
rainmakers in corporate finance, the creatives in advertising.

On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 2:57 AM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>

> In Pachinko (https://bit.ly/2NQjpSa <https://bit.ly/2NQjpSa>), published
> last year, Min Jin Lee writes:
> At Travis, Kazu made lot of rain. Five of the six most important banking
> deals last year took place because Kazu had made them happen.
> Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rain <
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rain>), the OLD (https://en.
> oxforddictionaries.com/definition/rain <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/
> definition/rain>), Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/
> browse/rain?s=t <http://www.dictionary.com/browse/rain?s=t>) and
> Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain <
> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rain>) do not have this
> meaning, though the meaning of a lot of something (such as a rain of blows)
> is provided.
> On Urban Dictionary,
> hardtobody (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rain&page=4 <
> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rain&page=4>) writes:
> money. i call money rain due to the term "make it rain". so money is now
> called rain.
> This “make it rain” refers to throwing money up in the air so it floats
> back down around you. That meaning is mentioned by other people on Urban
> Dictionary, too.
> It’s not clear to me whether the two meanings are related, but it is
> possible.
> Either way, Lee’s meaning is common:
> The New York Times
> 21 May 1996
> https://nyti.ms/2uqPms5 <https://nyti.ms/2uqPms5>
> Title: Women Striving To Make It Rain At Law Firms;Bringing in Business is
> the Best Path to Partnership
> Jack Flack
> Dealbook/The New York Times
> Parsing Rubin: The Exit Memo
> 21 January 2009
> https://nyti.ms/2us4tl0 <https://nyti.ms/2us4tl0>
> Rubin: My other role, working with clients and other Citi relationships
> here and abroad, gave me a keen appreciation of the important place Citi
> has in the global financial system and global economy.
> Translation: I made lots of rain, and I wish somebody would do the math on
> the return on investment on the $126 million I got paid.
> Eric Picard
> AdExchanger
> How Microsoft Almost Won Digital Advertising
> 8 July 2015
> https://bit.ly/2NehyW0 <https://bit.ly/2NehyW0>
> Obviously Google made lots of rain with the DoubleClick platform as well -
> but given that there are other examples (Rubicon, Casale, OpenX, AppNexus)
> yes, Microsoft certainly could have done it.
> Mike O'Horo
> Orange County Attorney Journal
> 31 October 2015
> https://bit.ly/2upj2Wv <https://bit.ly/2upj2Wv>
> Worse, there’s a whole generation of lawyers who made lots of rain for a
> long time without ever learning how to do it.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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