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Pig Idioms

Updated on June 11, 2019
Ben Reed profile image

Ben has held a life-long interest in language and has a particular interest in the expressions, phrases, and idioms that contribute to it.

What Is an idiom?

An idiom is a natural way or manner of speaking to someone who is a native speaker of the language.

An idiom is a phrase or an expression that cannot be taken literally.

When you use an idiom in everyday language, then it has a different meaning than the basic meaning or definition of the words as found in a dictionary. An example of this might be "break a leg." If taken literally, then you are being told to break your leg. However, this phrase, or idiom is often used by actors to say "Do well" before they go out on stage.

When Pigs Fly

  • When Pigs Fly

A way of saying that something is very unlikely to happen.

  • Buy a pig in a poke

To buy something without checking it out first. You have bought something that is not what it was meant to be.

Did you know that this particular idiom is believed to have its origins back in the Middle Ages. It is thought by some that it refers to a time when meat was hard to come by, but when rats and cats were not. It doesn't take much imagination to see what may have happened.

  • Sweat Like a Pig

To sweat (perspire) a lot.

The origin of this idiom are a little difficult to track down and it is strange to refer to a pig as sweating as pigs don't actually have any sweat glands and therefore cannot perspire in this way. It is thought by some that this idiom stems from the smelter of pig iron, which at a critical stage of it's manufacture where it is cool enough to transport, "sweats". Other thoughts on this are that the phrase should be taken more literally, pigs don't sweat - and therefore someone who is referred to in such a way, is actually being lazy.

When pigs fly — idiom
When pigs fly — idiom | Source

You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, But It's Still a Pig

  • You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig

A way of saying that you can dress up a situation or issue, but without changing it any way.

  • In a pigs eye!

A way of saying that something has no chance of happening.

The origins of the idiom "in a pigs eye" are a little vague. It is believed that there is some reference to the fact that pigs have small eyes. Although quite where the connection with the idioms meaning of something being highly unlikely stems from remains a subject of debate.

  • Squeal like a stuck pig

A way of saying that someone made a fuss, usually over nothing. For example, someone suffered only slightly, but made a huge fuss over it.

Lipstick On A Pig
Lipstick On A Pig

If That Don't Beat a Pig a-pecking

  • If that don't beat a Pig a-pecking

A way of saying that something is amazing.

  • It ain't Fitting to Roll With a Pig

A way of saying that a person in uncouth.

Why not take part in my Idiom test.....just for fun. - Just fill in the missing word.

A little ............told me.

See results

Go Hog Wild

  • Go Hog Wild

A way of saying that someone is behaving wildly.

  • To go the whole hog

To be extravagant, to leave nothing out.

  • Pig it

A way of saying that someone is living in a messy way. To live like a pig.

  • Everything but the squeal

A way of saying that everything from the pig is used. Usually used by butchers, sausage makers to describe that everything from the animal was used.

Wild Hog
Wild Hog

Why not Take Part in my Idiom Test?

Just fill in the missing word.

A your bonnet.

See results
The piggy In the middle — idiom
The piggy In the middle — idiom | Source

Don't be Like a Piggy in The Middle

  • Like Pigs to the Slaughter

A way of saying that something is being done obediently and in large numbers.

  • Like Stealing Acorns From a Blind Pig

A way of saying that something is very easy.

  • Piggy in the middle

Someone who is caught in the middle of an argument between two people or groups.

  • If That Don't Beat a Pig-a-Pecking

A way of saying that something is amazing.

  • Pigs ear

A way of saying that something or an object is useless.

  • Casting Pearls Before Swines

A way of saying that something you are offering something of value to a person or persons who either cannot, or does not appreciate it.

Pig Idioms — a Lesson From BBC Learning English


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