If pigs have no sweat glands, why do we say "Sweating like a pig"?

United States
June 20, 2012 3:45pm CST
I just thought of this fact a few minutes ago, and I'm wondering why this didn't come to mind earlier in life. What other sayings have you heard that make no sense?
2 people like this
10 responses
• United States
20 Jun 12
yes,phillydreamer...this is an insult to the pig....i have read that pigs are one of the most intelligent animals even smarter than the smartest dogs...a pig expression i heard a lot growing up was, "happy as a pig in the sunshine"...my granny was particularly fond of that one...or one of our preachers used to use the exclamation"hogwash" to convey his disdain of things..his sermons were peppered with that word!
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 12
I would think that if pigs cant sweat, they would hate the sunshine. I don't know what to make out of hogwash. LOL
@dfollin (12503)
• United States
20 Jun 12
I know!....go figureMy grandmother always came up with these sayings....wives tales. Like one that still is on my mind.I am trying to figure out what this means: When it was raining and the sun was shining she'd say,"The devil is beating his wife."Huh? What in the world does that mean
• United States
20 Jun 12
That's a weird one. I've never heard that one before.
• United States
20 Jun 12
I grew up hearing that one as well, dfollin. In fact, just the other day I was surprised to see that one of my 11 year old friends from facebook said this as her status. I wondered / suspected that she had just heard her father say it.
1 person likes this
@dfollin (12503)
• United States
20 Jun 12
Wow! An 11 year old? She had to have heard it from an elder person.Do you know what it means? I looked it up and it is supposed to mean that God is crying because something bad is going to happen.That is the english meaning anyway.
• United States
21 Jun 12
Wow, that is such an awesome point! I'm going to have to tell a few people about that since it's so clever! You're right about that...I don't know where the saying came from. The other day, my boyfriend's uncle said, "It's hot enough to breed sheep in here!" I was wondering how that made any sense either, LOL but it was still cute! I think people just relate sweat to being messy, and messiness to pigs...Which is also odd because I could sure as heck think of a lot more messier animals than pigs!
• United States
21 Jun 12
I'm voting for changing the saying to, sweating like a dog. Who's on board with this?
• United States
21 Jun 12
You're kidding aren't you, PhillyDreamer? Dogs pant because they don't sweat in the typical way.
• United States
25 Jun 12
But they do sweat right?
@911Ricki (13602)
• Canada
21 Jun 12
I couldnt help but laugh but you are right. I think manys perception of pigs are they are dirty, and stink.
• United States
21 Jun 12
I think we need to get some animal people to clarify this one. We need to find the animal that sweats the worst and change this expression to a more appropriate one.
@911Ricki (13602)
• Canada
22 Jun 12
I agree completely, but its one of those sayings that have been around for ages. I guess someone came up with it and just didnt know the facts. I think a lot of people are misadvised with many facts.
• United States
25 Jun 12
I do associate pigs with being dirty, but I also learned that the reason is because they don't sweat. I can't imagine having to do this. I wonder what happens if a big is left in an area with no mud?
@PageTurner (2827)
• United States
20 Jun 12
Perhaps this phrase is misused, PhillyDreamer? Perhaps it originally referred to people who were not working and, therefore, not perspiring. Just like how the phrase, "Eating like a bird," is usually misused to say that people aren't eating much, when in fact, a bird has to eat a tremendous mount of food daily (in proportion to its body weight) because flying takes so much energy.
• United States
20 Jun 12
That's an interesting thought. I might have to look into it, but I always assumed that people consider pigs filthy so comparing you to one usually reflects on your hygiene. The bird fact is something I wasn't familiar with.
• United States
20 Jun 12
As for the pigs, yes that is the assumption on physical as well as other (religious) levels. I suppose it would depend on whether the phrase originated with people who knew pigs or with people who thought they knew pigs.
• United States
20 Jun 12
Who knows. LOL
@sk66rc (4261)
• United States
20 Jun 12
There are few expressions that don't make any sense to me... What's with the "grease monkey"? Are monkeys really all that greasy? If you eat a solid food & drink a liquid, what about chunky soup? Do you eat the chunky part of the soup & dink the rest? Speaking of food, typically when I say "I had spaghetti for dinner", that means I ate spaghetti... What about the expression, can't have your cake & eat it, too. If you apply same rules as in food, if you had a cake, didn't you already eat it? So basically the expression goes something like, "you can't eat your cake & eat it, too"? How about "hot as hell out there"? How do you know? Ever been there? People say "pin number". Doesn't pin stand for "personal identification number"? So people are being redundant for no reason, "personal identification number number"? Not to sound disgusting but here's one... If you get sick & stuff comes out of your mouth, you are throwing up... When you get sick & get diareah, why isn't it called throwing down?
• United States
21 Jun 12
I can't believe you wrote a whole comedy routine. I think the term grease monkey derives from the term to monkey around with something, but where that term came from I couldn't tell you. The Chunky soup question will be one of those unknown answers like the chicken and the egg. I always find it funny when people say its cold as Hell, I really wish society could make up its mind if Hell is hot or cold so I know what to pack when I go there. I'm not even going to touch the diarreah question. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jun 12
Your 'pin number' reminds me of 'hot water heater' which is also redundant, sk66rc.
1 person likes this
@BysenBase (190)
21 Jun 12
The thing that is difficult if not completely impossible to realize without living abroad Firstly pigs are very clean animals when left to their own devices without human influence so they would have no need to sweat even if they could. The pig roles in mud during the summer as a way of controlling external parasites such as ticks/flies etc. The terminology comes from the outdated custom of keeping pigs in "sweat boxes".These where brick buildings that contained a high concentration of pigs fed on swill .It was based on the idea that by keeping each other warm they would use less energy on heating and thus grow quicker,which to a degree they did but their welfare was abysmal and the practise was banned before the war
• United States
21 Jun 12
I know that I eat animals, but I think its appalling the conditions they are kept in before they are put to slaughter. That sweat box thing sounds so horrible. I really hope humans dont get knocked down a notch on the food chain and we are treated like this.
@gloryacam (5546)
• Philippines
21 Jun 12
It's a figure of speech, so it's not really that pigs do sweat. I guess it's because pigs give off a foul odor and when you're "sweating like a pig" it could mean you're sweating so much to the point of giving off a foul odor. There are many phrases like those and they're not not be taken literlly.
• United States
21 Jun 12
Yes but this one is baseless. Why not say you are sweating like a horse, or a goat? These animals do sweat and they are just as stinky.
@anklesmash (1417)
20 Jul 12
I never knew that pigs didnt have sweat glands.I think we say sweating like a big to show our disgust.Being really sweaty isnt very nice so we show that we think this is horrible by saying we are like an animal that widely connsidred to be smelly,horrible and disgusting.Most people consider pigs to be dirty and two if the worlds major religions beleive it is wrong to eat them because god said they were unclean.In fact they are pretty clean animald they are one of the few that sleep in a different area to where they go to the toilet.One reason they are probably considered unclean is because the roll around in mud but thats only because the mud helps their fair and hairless skin from burning.
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
25 Jun 12
oh yes now i am wondering too..