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Monday, March 22, 2010



When you want to insult or compliment someone, there are of course several ways to do it.  You can use actual descriptive words (which are boring).  For example, ugly, stupid, gorgeous, or smart.  Luckily, we have extrapolations of some words so that we have more to work with, like butt-ugly, and drop-dead gorgeous.  When that’s not enough, we can use action type descriptions to more emphatically illustrate someone in a positive or negative light.  You could call someone a bottom-feeder or heaven-sent.  Well, when that creativity runs dry, you can’t go wrong with a good old animal metaphor.  One of the most versatile of earth-dwellers is an adorable, pink ungulate called the pig.

The pig (and pig products) can be used to describe someone in so many ways!  When someone is dastardly, evil, or steals something, you might say, “You dirty swine!!”  It’s hard to call someone a swine and say it without squinting your eyes at them.  It comes from deep down and relieves a lot of tension.  It’s a good insult.  It’s also very unmistakable.  If one were to be accused a swine, they know exactly why, too!  (It’s also surprisingly inoffensive.  Have you ever seen anyone taken aback by such slander?  I don’t think so.)

Have you ever heard someone called a ham?  If somebody is the life of the party or tells jokes often, you might say, “Oh, you’re such a ham!”  I’m not exactly sure where this saying comes from, but I’m fairly certain it’s complimentary.  Perhaps one who can make others laugh so hard they snort is to be called a ham.  Pigs are innately social creatures, but I’ve never known one to be funny.  Then again, I’ve never really known one, either.

Here’s another scenario.  A man and his girlfriend/wife/whatever are out eating at a restaurant.  The smoking hot waitress takes their order and strolls away, and without realizing it, the man’s eyes are glued to her glutes.  His date catches him red-handed (or red-eyed, I guess) and says, “You pig!”  (There may be an accompanying face-slap.)  A well-deserved insult, indeed!  But are pigs really that adulterous?  Only farmer Joe knows.  Good-sounding insult, bad metaphor.

The poor pig (and pig products) can be used to describe many other qualities as well: sloppiness, over-eating, money-earning, dishonesty, etc.  Use your imagination.  So I’d like to extend a warm ‘thank you’ to you, pig, for providing this end of the food chain with a wealth of insults and compliments when we need you the most!

By: S. Cole Garrett


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