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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.

Americans often use the expressions about animals. In 2008, the main candidates for president each use this expression. You can put lip steak on the pig. But it is still a pig. This means that is a waste of time to change something from ugly or unpleasant looking to beautiful.

There are other expressions about improving a pig’s appearance like this one. A hog in a silk waistcoat is still a hog. Hogs are similar to pigs, only big. Americans 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 something valuable from something that has no value.

In the pig’s eyes is another unusual expression. It means something that is not so or will never happen. Then there is expression “casting pearls before swine” that means wasting something valuable on someone who will not be thankful or care about it.

However, at least one kind pig can be useful in saving money. It is called a pig bank; you can buy a small container shit like a pig. It has a hole where child can put money into it.

Hogs are very large animals. If you see you ate high on a hog during a holiday. That means you ate very good or costly food. If you went to a whole hog on your trip, it means everything possible to have found. But you should never go a hog wild and at any time because that means behaving badly.

Hogs take a lot of spaces, but people should not take more than their share. If one of your children is taking up too much space staying in the front of television, other children might say” do not hog the couch”. And a road hog is a driver who uses more than he shares of the road. Such a driver increases the dangers for other drivers.

  Pig terms are also used in American politics. Farmers mark their pigs’ ears to identify them. In politics, ear marks are money set aside for project and congressman’s home state or locality. And politicians might say there is lot of pork in a budget proposal, meaning waste of spending.

  In many areas, pigs provide ham,bacon,and other pork products to eat. All Americans want to be able to bring home the bacon. That means to earn enough money to provide the necessities of life. Experts say this term was first used in the nineteen twenties. 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.  

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