Have you ever heard someone use the term “pearls before swine” and wondered what they were referring to? This common idiom from the English language may seem a little confusing at first but we are going to look into the meaning of this term and how it can be used in day to day conversation. We will also take a look into the origin of the saying and find out why we use it today.
Pearls Before Swine
“Pearls Before Swine” Meaning
The meaning of the term Pearls before swine refers to a situation when someone offers help or guidance to someone who cannot or does not appreciate or value it. Imagine offering pearls to swine (pigs) they would simply never be able to appreciate the value of the offering and this is the meaning behind the saying.
Origin of this idiom
The origin of the term Pearls before swine can be found in the book of Matthew from the Holy Bible, in the verse where we read ‘do not give holy things to the dogs or cast pearls before swine, for they will trample upon them then turn and trample upon you.’
Other Ways to Say “Pearls Before Swine”
There are other ways in which you can express the meaning of the term Pearls before swine, we will now take a look at some examples of how you can say the phrase using different terminology.
- Waste your breath
- He will not heed your words
“Pearls Before Swine” Examples
There may be many instances in which the term Pearls before swine can be used, here are some examples of sentences in which the saying may be featured.
- “He will never listen to you, it’s the same as offering pearls before swine.”
This is an example of a sentence said by someone to another person who is offering useless advice.
- “The government would not listen to the sage advice of the King, as they thought they knew better. His majesty may as well have cast pearls before swine.”
This is an example of a statement being made from a report about a bad government decision after good advice was given.
You are likely to hear the term Pearls before swine in a variety of different conversations. We are now going to take a look at some examples of how this term would work in day to day speech.
The first conversation is taking place between a mother and her teenage daughter.
- Person 1; “I really do think that you should resit your exams in order to get a better grade.”
- Person 2; “What is the point? I’ll do fine without good grades.”
- Person 1; “You may not believe me now but you will see in the future, for now, I may as well cast pearls before swine.”
This second conversation is taking place between two people in the workplace.
- Person 1; “I have repeatedly told Mike that he needs to follow the boss’s orders.”
- Person 2; “He will never listen to you, he likes to do things in his own way. You’d be better casting pearls before swine.”
More Useful Examples
- I’ll never cast pearls before swine.
- To cast pearls before swine is to give things of value to those who will not understand it.
- He explained the beauty of music to her but it was cast pearls before swine.
- I won’t waste good advice on John any more because he never listens to it. I won’t cast pearls before swine.
- I’m afraid you’re casting pearls before swine with your good advice – he won’t listen.
- To sing for them is to cast pearls before swine.