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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-10-19 Words and Their Stories

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Now, the VOA Special English Program Words and Their Stories.

 

American often use expressions about animals.

 

In 2008 the main candidates for president each used this expressions: "you can pull lipstick on the pig ,but it is still a pig". This means that it is waste of time to change something from ugly or unpleasant looking to beautiful.

 

There are others expressions about improving to a pig appearance. Like this one ,a hog in a silk waistcoat is still a hog. Hogs are similar to pig only bigger .American use many other expressions about pigs, hogs, and female hogs called sows. .Like this one :"you can not make a silk purse out of a sow 's ear". This means you can not create some valuable from something that has no value.

 

 "In a pig's eye "is another unusual expression. It means something that is not so or will never happen. Then there is the expression of casting pearls before swine. That means wasting something valuable or someone will not be thankful or care about it.

 

However, at least one kind of pig can be useful in saving money. It is called a piggy bank. You can buy a small container, shaped like a pig. It has a hole where a child can put money into it. Hog are very large animals .

 

If you say you ate high on the hog during a holiday,It means you ate very good or costly food . If you went whole hog on your trip .It means you did everything possible to have fun. But you should never go hog-wild at anytime ,because that means behaving badly .

 

Hogs take up a lot of spaces, but people should not take up more than their shares .If one of your children is taking up too much spaces sitting in the front of Television. Other children might say :"do not hog the cough". And a road hog is a driver who uses more than his share of the road. Such a driver increases dangers for other derivers.

 

Pig terms are also used in American politics. Farmer mark their pigs' ears to identify them. In politics, earmarks are money set aside for projects and congressman's home state or locality. And politicians might say there is a lot of pork in a budget of proposal, meaning wasteful spending. In many areas, pigs provide ham , bacon, other pork products to eat. All of Americans want to be able to bring home the bacon. That means to earn enough money to provide the necessities of the life. Experts say this term was first used in the 1920s.But it is believed to come from the much older game of catching a greased pig. This was a popular event at country fairs, in which the winner was awarded the pig.

 

This Special English Program was written by Shelly Gollust,I am Barbara Klein .

You can find more Words and Their Stories at VOA Special English .com

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