All dialects: idioms with pork, pig, swine, sow

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by WannaBFluent, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. WannaBFluent

    WannaBFluent Senior Member


    As you probably know, eating pork is prohibited by Islam, Judaism and some Christians. In most cultures, and especially in the Middle and Near East, the pig is seen as something disgusting, dirty and evil. Thus, I'm sure, a lot of idioms and expressions related to pigs exist, probably pejorative ones.

    For example, in France, there are plenty of them:

    - 'manger comme un porc' = to be a messy eater (lit. to eat like a pig).
    - 'être un (sale/gros) porc' = insult (lit. to be a (dirty/fat) pig) [said to someone who is a messy eater, or a sexual pervert, or extremely dirty, strong sexual connotation].
    - 'être un cochon/ne' (adj.) = to be a pig / female pig [someone horny, strong sexual connotation OR when said to a child, someone who is a messy eater].
    - 'mettre une patate dans le groin' = to punch someone in the nose (lit. to punch someone in the snout) [saying 'groin' instead of 'nez' for a human is insulting].
    - 'être une truie' = insult (to a woman only) (lit. to be a sow) [extremely pejorative, equivalent to a 'whore']

    To sum up, the pig in French is a metaphor of someone who is very dirty (hygiene, way of eating, and often sexually).

    Seems to be the same in English : pig ; pork

    But they are also some positive expressions :

    - 'tout est bon dans le cochon' = (lit. everything is good/healthy in pork) [express that everything is valuable, can be used, in something, or in life in general].

    I was wondering what do Arabs have as idioms related to pig, pork, swine, sow ?
    Using xaanziir خنزير ; xanziira خنزيرة ; ḥalluuf حلّوف ; xaTm خطم ; etc (about the tail, or anything else related).

    I think some verbs with the root x-n-z-r are used in Iraqi :
    - xanzar (v) = to glare, stare angrily.
    - txanzar (v) = to be or become a swine, a bastard.

    Are they used in other parts ? And what else do you know ?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  2. Hemza

    Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    :D Hahahaha "être une truie" is really vulgar, I agree. As for "tout est bon dans le cochon" I think it is more related to the fact that almost every part of it may be eaten and valuable (in an economic perspective).

    That's a funny coincidence because in Morocco, خنزر is also used and it means "to glare angrily at someone".

    I know "حلوف" in Tunisia may according to the context positive, be positive which is to my knowledge absolutely not the case in Morocco. I think it is always negative and may be used as an insult or to describe bad manners of someone.

    Poor pigs, they're not really liked :(
  3. djara

    djara Senior Member

    Sousse, Tunisia
    Tunisia Arabic
    True! The most usual expression is "kalb 7allouf" كلب حلّوف literally "dog pig". Originally it meant "good-for-nothing", "vaurien" in French. But in certain contexts it may mean "smart guy" who knows his way around and who gets what he wants (even illegally)
  4. WannaBFluent

    WannaBFluent Senior Member

    So it means something and its exact opposite. Colloquialism logic :rolleyes:
  5. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    If it's about filthy, then the pig shares that equally with a dog in Arabic idioms. I don't recall much about pigs, but I do know this one used in Palestinian Arabic: شعرة من جلد خنزير (in Iraqi Arabic it's شعرة من جلد كلب). It's used to describe a situation where you want to get what you can, even if it was a single hair from the hide of a pig (or dog) - that is, even if it was a filthy and worthless as that, if it's yours you want it.
  6. WannaBFluent

    WannaBFluent Senior Member

    Thanks Mahaodeh, but how you would vocalized it ?
  7. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Sha3ra min jild 7'anzeer (3 stands for ع and 7' stands for خ).

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