2019 is the year of the PIG (10 Idioms with PIG)

Year of the PIG

World English blog and World English 808 would like to wish you all a happy and healthy NEW YEAR! 

In the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is the year of the pig. Do you know what zodiac means?


10 Idioms with PIG - year of the pig
According to Wikipedia, the Chinese animal zodiac is used:

in many Asian countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand.


Zodiac image By Jakub Hałun – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64844306

When we think of pigs in the west we think about farm animals that we eat. They are usually thought of as dirty animals who eat a lot! A few of the idioms that use pig are about eating or being dirty.

In Japan, the animal of 2019 is 猪 (Inoshishi) which is an animal in the pig family but it is wild. It lives in the forest, not on a farm. It often has tusks. In Japan you might see New Year’s cards with images like this:

Pigs on a farm do not have tusks.

There are many online lists of idioms that use the word pig. Some of these idioms I have seen in movies or on TV, some I have heard in conversation as I grew up and some I have used myself! 
The problem is that some of them are not common at all. I should say ‘Not common to me,’ but remember I am a native English speaker who grew up in Canada. My list only includes idioms that are familiar to me and I hear native speakers actually use. 
There may be idioms on other websites that are common in England or Australia or even some common idioms that I haven’t heard before. For this list, I have just included the idioms that are the most familiar to me, idioms that I am confident to use in natural conversation.

IDOM list

year of the pig

Here are 10 idioms with the word PIG as chosen by me!

90% of these Pig idioms are from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pig

You can find links to the Free Dictionary dot com idiom pages below.

The word PIG by itself

In English, the word pig can be used in a few ways. You can call someone who eats too much a pig

“Hey save some cake for everyone! Don’t be a pig!”

Pig is also used for the police.

“Time to go, the pigs are on there way.” 

year of the pig

1. Pig out (on something) – to eat too much of something at one time.

“After Halloween, my brother and I always pigged out on our candy.”

2. Eat like a pig – to eat a lot; to have a big appetite.

“Dave is coming to dinner so you better make lots of food. He eats like a pig!”

3. Make a pig of yourself – to eat a lot in a greedy or unpleasant way.

“We have guests coming over tonight so don’t make a pig of yourself at dinner.”

* These 3 idioms all have a similar meaning but please notice they are used differently. 

– we pig out on something and this is often used to describe your own behavior.

– to say that someone eats like a pig is not as strong or negative as to say someone made a pig of themselves. The 3rd example above has a very negative feeling.

year of the pig

4. (A place) is a pigsty – a place is very dirty.

“Greg you need to clean your apartment, it’s a pigsty!”

5. (be like) a greased pig – to move very fast and be difficult to catch.

“I spent 40 minutes trying to catch my dog after he got out of our backyard. It was like trying to catch a greased pig.”

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6. lipstick on a pig – to make a superficial (outside appearance) change but not make any meaningful changes. This is used for things that were not good before and still not good after changes to the appearance.

A: “They improved the interior of the restaurant, but the food is still bad and the staff are not friendly.”

B: “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.”

7. when pigs (can) fly – used to describe something that is very unlikely or will never happen.

A: “Do you think I will get a chance to take Angelina Jolie on a date?”

B: “Sure, when pigs fly!”

 year of the pig

8. Happy as a pig in mud – slang – very happy

“Javier loves comic books. He was happy as a pig in mud at the San Diego comic convention last year.”

9. Sweat like a pig – to sweat a lot

“I love Tokyo but the summer is so humid. I sweat like a pig for the whole month of August.”

10. guinea pig – if someone is used to test something or used in an experiment they are a guinea pig.

A: “Try this salsa I just made. I used some new ingredients this time.”

B: “Okay, I’ll be your guinea pig.” 

*To hear guinea pronunciation click – here

Thanks for reading! Are these idioms useful for you? Which one will you use first? Tell me below in the comments↓

Free Dictionary dot com idiom links:

pig out

eat like a pig

make a pig of oneself

(be like) a greased pig

put lipstick on a pig

when pigs (can) fly

happy as a pig in sh*t

sweat like a pig

guinea pig

From last New Year
Idioms with DOG
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