Pig Tales

All, Stories

Our language reflects a time when we lived close to the land. Agricultural terms are pervasive in our language. Since I live in Cincinnati, lovingly known at one time as “Porkopolis,” it seems appropriate to consider words and idioms (a word with a figurative meaning) that come from the pig!

February is filled with holidays. On Valentine’s Day, my husband and I earmarked the calendar for a night out. We discussed where to eat without going hog wild. My date was pigheaded and wanted to eat at an expensive restaurant. I thought to myself, “that will happen when pigs fly.” But to my surprise, he went whole hog and we dined high on the hog and pigged out. We were in hog heaven!

At dinner we reminisced about our childhood, and our dads giving piggyback rides and hogging the TV to watch their football games (during which they really napped, and were given away by calling the hogs). The football games led to a discussion of deflated pigskins, which I thought was all hogwash, since they’re made of cow hide.

After such an extravagant evening, it was back to bringing home the bacon and putting pennies in our piggy bank. With the February holidays are over, we look forward to visiting the pigs at Parky’s Farm to celebrate National Pig Day on March 1.

Did you know the meaning of each bolded pig word or idiom above? Use the pig in a poke mini-guide below to see if you were correct…


•    Earmark – A method of identifying something (to identify a pig, the ears are notched)
•    Hog wild – Out of control
•    Pigheaded – Stubborn
•    When pigs fly –Something that is unlikely to happen
•    Whole hog – Go all out
•    High on the hog – Live well and eat good food
•    Pig out – Eat too much
•    Hog heaven – Very happy
•    Piggyback – Being carried on someone’s back or shoulders
•    Hog – Not share
•    Calling the hogs – Snoring
•    Pigskin – Football (pioneers used the bladder of a pig to make balls or balloon)
•    Hogwash – An untruthful statement
•    Bringing home the bacon – Earnings, enough to support the family
•    Piggybank – A pig-shaped container a pig with a slot on the top where money can be saved
•    Pig in a poke – Doing something without inspecting it first (literally, the piglet was in a bag and could not been seen before purchasing it)

Randi Greathouse, Manager, Parky’s Farm