casting pearls before the grunting lot

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Setwale_Charm, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. Russians have a saying "to cast pearls before swine" meaning to waste one`s precious effort trying to achieve the appreciation of something noble on the part of somebody who is too much of a brute and too low to appreciate. Can anybody think of English equivalents, other than mine, that would also have to do with a pig/swine?
  2. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The phrase is based on a biblical passage, and is used the same way in English with exactly the words you suggest: casting pearls before swine.
  3. Hello, Nun_Translator. Yes, I am aware of that. I was just thinking of any other possibilities of putting it without wandering away from the poor animal.
  4. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I'm sorry. I don't understand your question. Do you want to say the same thing but in different words, still using swine?
  5. Yep.

    By the way, where exactly in the Bible is that passage?
  6. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The phrase is so ingrained in my mind, I can't come up with another way of saying it, still using pigs.

    Matthew 7:6
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    It's not idiomatic, yet, but you might try serving caviar to the hogs.
  8. Victoria32

    Victoria32 Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (UK) New Zealand
    We have the exact same expression in English, my mother used to use it...
  9. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    King James translation:
    Matthew 7,6.
    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    Jerusalem Bible translation
    Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.

    The American writer Dorothy Parker was quite famous for her witty retorts.
    Clair Boothe Luce and Dorothy Parker arrived together at a door.
    Luce indicated that Parker should go first and said: "Age before beauty",
    Parker walked through the door and replied: "Pearls before swine."
  10. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    There is a proverb that one of my mentor's taught me: "Never teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig." I believe it is a quotation from a man named Paul Dickson.
  11. maxiogee Banned

    The Irish used to refer to the pig as "the little gentleman that pays the rent". There's quite a lot in that. They eat anything, they are hugely productive and of all animals, the pig is the one we can use most of when they die.
  12. mamboney

    mamboney Senior Member

    Rocky Mountains
    English (USA)
    Oh the poor maligned swine! :)

    A similar saying that comes to mind is "that's like putting lipstick on a pig".

    An aside - pigs are actually quite intelligent & only "dirty" because of the unnatural conditions farmers keep them in. They have to roll in mud to protect their delicate skin from the sun. They used to have thick coats that would protect them from it, but over milennia we have bred that out of them because of the annoyance it causes when one tries to butcher them.

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