lipstick on a pig

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Wed Sep 10 15:59:11 UTC 2008

It looks like Google's new newspaper initiative is paying off already.

Here's a 198o use that, while it doesn't mention lipstick, is entirely
in line with the other variants: "dressing up a pig/hog," "putting
makeup on a pig/ hog", "perfume on a pig/hog," etc.

1980 Quad-City Herald (Brewster, Wash.) (Jan. 31) "The Country Parson"
p. 3: You can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on it's [sic] tail, spray
it with perfume, but it is still a pig.

By the way, I'm scheduled to speak about this on Fox News today at
1:30 PM EDT, so thanks for the tips about this term so far (including
older stuff from Barry Popik in the archives).

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list