Tuesday, April 18, 2006


You can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear

(originally posted March 27, 2006)

You can probably guess what that means, if you know what a "sow" is... A sow is a female pig, usually nursing a bunch of piglets.

Guessed what the meaning is yet?

Definition: If you used the wrong material, no matter what you do, you can't make it work.

Closest Chinese Equivalent Saying: 腐木不成材﹐perhaps?

Origin: Jonathan Swift first coined the phrase, but it was unsure where it was first publicized. And there are earlier variations that were documented by Alexander Barclay and Stephen Gosson. But Swift was generally acknowledge as the person who started using the modern form.

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