“The phrase ‘when pigs fly’ is an adynaton—a figure of speech so hyperbolic that it describes an impossibility. The implication of such a phrase is that the circumstances in question (the adynaton, and the circumstances to which the adynaton is being applied) will never occur.”
I don’t believe Tank the piglet can fly, but he might be dreaming of it.
Tank, the Kunekune piglet, lives on the farm from which Natasha and I purchase organic chicken and duck eggs. He and his two brothers, Arnold Ziffel and Mr.Yet-to-be-Named (I recommended Porky) share the sustainable, natural surroundings with mom, dad and auntie pig; cows, sheep and goats; chickens and ducks; a large, overly-friendly dog and a few black cats.
“The idiom ‘when pigs fly’ is apparently derived from a centuries-old Scottish proverb, though some other references to pigs flying or pigs with wings are more famous. At least one appears in the works of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
‘Thinking again?’ the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.
‘I’ve a right to think,’ said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried.
‘Just about as much right,’ said the Duchess, ‘as pigs have to fly….’
Let’s leave the flying to the winged critters, shall we?
When Natasha and I first visited this happy little farm, a bleating dark grayish brown lamb was living in the front yard. I believe farmer Erica told us that “Grimm” was rejected by his momma, so he was getting special love by the humans. I have absolutely no idea why momma wouldn’t want him because Grimm was totes adorbs and I wanted to take him home.
This is Grimm today. He’s grown and his color has changed. Grimm doesn’t fly, but Farmer Erica picks him up like you would pick up a cat or dog or small child. I suppose for a lamb whose four feet are usually on the ground, that might be considered flying.
“In Polish, a similar expression is ‘See a tank rolling in here?’, while simultaneously lowering a lower eyelid with a finger.”
You may have to think about that expression for a minute. I didn’t get it at first and Tank was too busy taking pig naps to care. Meanwhile, Arnold Ziffel roots around in the grass, pushes his snout into the dirt, and has lunch with mom.
“In the 1968 movie The Lion in Winter, King Henry II tells his wife Eleanor of Aquitane ‘When pigs have wings!’ She replies ‘There’ll be pork in the trees come morning!’
No, no, no, no, no. There will be no piglets or pork in the trees. Tank, Arnold and Mr. No-Name are happy to stay on the ground, happy to commune with their farm family, on four legs. Flying is only for pig dreams and statements of impossibility like…
Wait. What? You want me to give up dark chocolate?
This post has been brought to you by Wikipedia, three adorable piglets and Linda G. Hill’s One Liner Wednesday. Click HERE for more one-liners.