Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the meaning of the word "rain-maker"? How did this originate?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Rain-maker or rainmaker originates from native American tribal magicians (etymonline) and has come into English language around 1775.

It is used of a professional that is great in his field (seemingly magical) or somebody believed to be able to produce rain. Especially somebody generating a great deal.

See The Free Dictionary

share|improve this answer
    
I've always understood it to mean someone who brings business to a firm, as a literal rainmaker might bring rain to a farmer's crops. (As in the definition following your link and looking at the "Thesaurus" part of the page.) –  Wayne May 23 '11 at 17:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.