by admin on March 1, 2011

silk pursse

sow’s (or maybe piglet’s) ear

My computer consultant, who writes a blog on American idioms for Chinese speakers (see, has gotten me thinking about idioms.  there are quite a number that involve fashion.  my current favorite is:  you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.  that is, you can’t make something valuable and beautiful from something ugly and cheap!  hmmm….not sure if this is true these days, what with the trend towards making all sorts of cool stuff  from re-cycled material, garbage, scraps, etc.  nonetheless, i love the imagery in this idiom.  i image a gorgeous perhaps purple silk purse, perhaps with a bit of beading, juxtaposed with a darling pink pig’s ear.  really, animal ears tend to be some of their best parts…..but then, i believe i’m distorting the meaning a bit.




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