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Just like putting ‘Lipstick on a Pig’!
Episode 8410th November 2022 • Soapbox Daily • Mad Morgan
00:00:00 00:07:39

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The phrase to put "lipstick on a pig" means making superficial or cosmetic changes to a product in a futile effort to disguise its fundamental failings.

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There are many phrases using pigs, or swine, dating back to biblical times. This phrase seems to have been coined in the 20th century but did not become a common phrase until the 21st century and is often used in politics.

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The expression is older than my grandfather’s grandfather and it means that you can dress something up but it doesn’t change what it is. Is the expression really that old?

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The concept is an old one, but the phrasing used is kinda new. Many porcine proverbs describe vain attempts at converting something from ugly to pretty, or from useless to useful. The famous maxim that “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear” dates back at least to the mid-16th century. Other old sayings play on the ludicrousness of a pig getting dressed up. “A hog in armour is still but a hog” was recorded in 1732 by British physician Thomas Fuller. As Francis Grose later explained in A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796), a “hog in armour” alludes to “an awkward or mean looking man or woman, finely dressed.” Charles H. Spurgeon noted another variation in his 1887 compendium of proverbs, The Salt-Cellars: “A hog in a silk waistcoat is still a hog,” meaning, “Circumstances do not alter a man’s nature, nor even his manners.”

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Since then, “lipstick on a pig” has spiced up the political verbiage of everyone from Charlie Rangel to Dick Cheney. Even though the folksy expression is one that sounds old (and connects back to genuinely old proverbs), it’s not quite the vintage of anyone’s grandfather’s grandfather.

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Still the fact remains behind the meaning of the term and we will discuss that in today's episode.

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This is our topic for todays episode. Please share your views on our Twitter page @ https://twitter.com/MadSoapbox

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Like always this is will be the VERY best variety topic excellence you expect from us. These are our opinions and thoughts which all MAY not agree with. Please feel free to 'change the channel' if you don't like what you hear. Our goal is to make the world a better place for everyone and not serve a small minority. Thoughts, comments and constructive contributions welcomed but NOT hate or negative. Please be respectful to our host and guests.

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We also have a weekly long format Podcast called 'Get Off My Soapbox' which airs every Wednesday evening (usually posted before 11 PM EDT).

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More information can be found on that podcast and this new SOAPBOX DAILY podcast at https://getoffmysoapbox.com

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