TORONTO—The etymology of the phrase “lipstick on a pig” is politically timely. Bear with me, here. Pigs, it turns out, have been bandied about in human expression for a long time. There is a plethora of porcine proverbs. In the Bible, there is Matthew 7:6, “pearls before swine.” Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear is another one everyone says, even whilst everyone knows that silk comes from insect larvae, not some unfortunate pig’s auditory system.
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