The Language of Pork: Part 1
Hogs are a part of every day life; As a nutritious food source, source of employment, and as a contributor to our language. The venerable pig rarely escapes a day of conversation!
Think you know about the hogs on Wall Street? Free-roaming hogs were famous for rampaging through the valuable grain fields of colonial New York City farmers. The Manhattan Island residents chose to block the troublesome hogs with a long, permanent wall on the northern edge of what is now Lower Manhattan. A street came to border this wall — named aptly enough, Wall Street.
To Go Whole Hog – The expression came from the 18th Century when the English shilling was at one time called a “hog”. Thus, a spendthrift one willing to spend an entire shilling on the entertainment of a friend, was willing to “go whole hog”.
Bringing Home the Bacon – It was once the practice at fairs to grease a pig and let it loose among a number of blindfolded contestants. The man who successfully caught the greased pig could keep it…. and so, of course “bring home the bacon.”
Pig in a Poke – A “poke” is a bag – from the Irish word for it, poc. It was once the custom to bring small pigs to market in a bag. And if you bought such a “pig in a poke” without looking at it you didn’t really know what you were getting. Today, we use this term when we buy something sight unseen.
Don’t forget! Porkapalooza 2015 is coming up fast on June 19-21st at Borden Park in Edmonton. Tickets are now available for Friday Night Ribfest, the the limited seating Father’s Day Brunch. Visit www.porkapalooza.ca now for more information!