"Handy as hip pockets on a hog" (1934)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Sep 5 03:00:58 UTC 2006

"Handy as hip pockets on a hog" shows up on several Texas Talk web pages.  
Does Fred have it?
I just checked my Google Adsense earnings for yesterday, and I  
made--drumroll please--one cent on 0 hits. Yes, one cent!
I could sell body parts for more than that.
Entry from September 04, 2006 
“Handy as hip pockets on a hog”
"Useless as hip pockets on a hog” is a phrase of unknown origin, but it’s  
cited from the 1930s. “Useless” is now replaced with “handy,” and sometimes it
’s  “side pockets” instead of “hip pockets.” 

The phrase appears on many web  pages of Texas Talk, where it’s listed as a 

_Amazon.com_ (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0878336826)   
Handy as Hip Pockets on a Hog: the Colorful Language of the American  
Southwest (Paperback) 
by Donald Chain Black 
Paperback: 138 pages  
Publisher: Taylor Publishing Company (1 Jan 1989) 
Language English  
ISBN: 0878336826 
Explains the history and meaning of  Southwestern expressions from “Twelve 
acres of pregnant red hogs” to “It’s time  to put the chairs on the wagon”. 

_Google  Books_ 
Encyclopedia of the Great Plains 
by David J. Wishart  
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 
pg. 299: 
Another  colorful term, “gully washer,” refers to an exceptional amount of 
rainfall, and  in Texas a compliment might be paid to someone who was said to 
be as “handy as  hip pockets on a hog.” 

_Texas Talkin’ Page_ (http://www.beer-bytch.com/talkintexan.htm)  
As  handy as hip pockets on a hog (If a Texan says this, it’s a compliment, 

15 September 1934, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 12: 
“There’s no more use for the office of  coroner than there is for hip 
pockets on a hog.”—State Representative Wallace  Karraker of Jonesborough at the 
meeting in Chicago yesterday of the Illinois  retrenchment commission. 

24 January 1970, Panama City (FL) News,  pg. 1: 
WASHINGTON (AP)—While in Washington to file his school desegregation  suit 
with the Supreme Court Friday, Gov. Claude Kirk took time out to comment on  
some of his colleagues in Florida. 

Asked what he thought of the job  being done by Education Commissioner Floyd 
Christian, Kirk replied: “He’s as  useless as hip pockets on a hog.” 

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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