Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

Ag Etymology

Swine

bleed like a stuck pig

The throat of a pig set for slaughter is cut or opened with a sharp spike or knife. Because the cut severs the jugular vein, the pig bleeds rapidly.

high on the hog

The best meat is on the upper portion of the pig. Rich people have always been afforded this luxury while the servants, slaves and poor have always had to eat pig's feet, chitterlings, cracklings, etc. - low on the hog.

kick the bucket

Pigs to be slaughtered are bled, that is the blood is drained from the body. One way this is accomplished is to hang the pig upside down from a bar (by one foot) that used to be known as a "buchet," a French word for it. The pig's throat was cut or opened with a sharp spike (See "bleed like a stuck pig"), and it would rapidly be bled. In its death throes, it would always, always kick the bucket.

let the cat out of the bag

At medieval markets, unscrupulous traders would display a pig for sale. However, the pig was always given to the customer in a bag, with strict instructions not to open the bag until they were some way away. The trader would hand the customer a bag containing something that wriggled, and it was only later that the buyer would find he'd been conned when he opened the bag to reveal that it contained a cat, not a pig. Therefore, "letting the cat out of the bag" revealed the secret of the con trick.

pig in a poke

A poke is a bag or a pouch. At medieval markets, unscrupulous traders would display a pig for sale. However, the pig was always given to the customer in a bag, with strict instructions not to open the bag until they were some way away. The trader would hand the customer a bag containing something that wriggled, and it was only later that the buyer would find he'd been conned when he opened the bag to reveal that it contained a cat, not a pig. The phrase refers to the failure to look inside the bag or poke.

pig headed

This expression dates back to the Middle Ages and the Southeast Asian country that is now known as Indonesia. According to legend there was a king who had incredible powers over the forces of nature and life and death. This king could enter a meditative state and while in that state, actually have his servant lop off his head and then put it back on without ever disturbing him. When the king wanted to show off his power, he would have his servant lop off his head with a very sharp sword. Then, they would all watch as his head mysteriously reattached itself to his shoulders.

One day, the servant cut off the king’s head with a little too much force and his head rolled into the river and washed away. The servant was frantic and did not know what to do. He saw a nearby pig and thought, “That will work,” and used the pig’s head instead.

When the king came to, he was upset. He had his servant killed and moved his royal residence to a high tower where he lived the rest of his life. He declared that when anyone was around the tower they had to keep their eyes on the ground lest they look upward and see the pig-headed king.

This phrase eventually came to refer to someone that others must never question. It became an expression for prideful condescension where all others must recognize that the king – pig-headed that he was – was far above anyone else. He was, after all, the king. Even though in reality, he was just an extremely unattractive and unhappy man.

fat as a pig

eat like a pig

pig out

in a pig's eye

Never, highly unlikely. Whether the originator of the saying meant that a poor idea was something to put in a pig's eye or that it would look bad to a pig's eye is a matter of speculation.

hog heaven

hog wild

hogwash

pigtail

piggy bank

male chauvinist pig

dirty pig

as messy as a pig's sty

bringing home the bacon

The tradition of the Dunmow Flitch began in Great Dunmow, Essex, in 1104 when a local couple so impressed the Prior of Little Dunmow with their marital devotion that he awarded them a side of bacon.

road hog

ham actor

pigskin

 

Related lesson online: Truth or Hogwash

Swine Lessons

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

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Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.