Putting lipstick on a pig analogy

CNN -- Sen. Barack Obama's reference to "lipstick on a pig" has Republicans demanding an apology and Democrats accusing Sen.

John McCain of a "pathetic attempt" to play the gender card. McCain's campaign said Obama's remarks were offensive and a slap at Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin -- despite the fact that the Arizona senator himself used the phrase last year to describe a policy proposal of Hillary Clinton's.

Obama shot back Wednesday and accused the McCain campaign of engaging in "lies" and "swift boat politics. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics," he said in Norfolk, Virginia.

The phrase "swift boat" comes from the presidential election, when the group "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" launched an attack ad campaign against Democratic candidate John Kerry.

putting lipstick on a pig analogy

Read more about what Obama said. Obama made his controversial "lipstick" remarks at a Virginia campaign stop late Tuesday afternoon. That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing. The crowd erupted in applause when Obama delivered the line. The Illinois senator then praised both McCain's "compelling story" and Palin's "interesting story," and said his "hat goes off" to anyone who's looking after five kids -- "I've got two and they tire Michelle and me out.

Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focused on the remark, which they said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Palin used the line in the opening remarks of her convention speech, and she frequently uses it on the campaign trail. In Iowa last October, McCain drew comparisons between Hillary Clinton's current health care plan and the one she championed in "I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it's still a pig.

Obama was referring to [Alaska] Gov. Sarah Palin. It's obviously disrespectful and offensive. It was obvious. The crowd went crazy because of it. It wasn't the first time Obama used the line. In a phone interview with The Washington Post last September, he used it in reference to the situation in Iraq. Petraeus, and he has done his best to try to figure out how to put lipstick on a pig.

Other politicians have also used the phrase in recent years, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Rep. John Mica of Florida and Rep.Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day! Some superficial or cosmetic change to something so that it seems more attractive, appealing, or successful than it really is.

The only things the new manager has come up with to save the restaurant have been to put lipstick on a pig, but slapping on a fresh coat of paint and making a few repairs will do nothing to address the underlying problems.

This new operating system is just lipstick on a pig, if you ask me. It's still just as buggy and unintuitive as the last one they released. See also: lipstickonpig. Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. References in periodicals archive? Lipstick on a pig comment offensive; The World Today.

Marsh told viewers that Megson might have made Sean Gregan his top summer signing but that 'you can put lipstick on a pigbut it's still a pig'. Megson's Sky larks over pig dig. But, as they say, "you can out lipstick on a pigbut it is still a pig! In a comment many believe was aimed at Palin, the Illinois senator said: "You can put lipstick on a pigbut it's still a pig. It produced an Internet ad implying that Obama had called Palin a pig when he used a familiar phrase, which McCain also has used, about putting " lipstick on a pig " to try to make a bad situation look better.

Obama told supporters: "You can put lipstick on a pigand it is still a pig. What in God's name was going through Obama's brain on Tuesday when he said "You can put lipstick on a pig.

It's still a pig". He had said: "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. Idioms browser? Full browser? Lipse Lipset, Seymour M.To put " lipstick on a pig " means making superficial or cosmetic changes to a product in a futile effort to disguise its fundamental failings. Pigs have long been featured in proverbial expressions: a "pig's ear", a " pig in a poke ", as well as the Biblical expressions " pearls before swine " and "ring of gold in a swine's snout". Indeed, whereas the phrase "lipstick on a pig" seems to have been coined in the 20th century, the concept of the phrase may not be particularly recent.

The similar expression, "You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear" seems to have been in use by the middle of the 16th century or earlier. Thomas Fullerthe British physician, noted the use of the phrase "A hog in armour is still but a hog" inhere, as the Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue later noted "hog in armour" alludes to "an awkward or mean looking man or woman, finely dressed.

The "lipstick" variant of the phrase is more modern the word "lipstick" itself was only coined in Lummisin the Los Angeles Timeswhen he wrote "Most of us know as much of history as a pig does of lipsticks.

In Stella Gibbons ' Westwood published in Hebe visits a hair salon and has her hair "contemptuously washed by Miss Susan, who had a face like a very young pig that had managed to get hold of a lipstick". In an article in the Quad-City Herald Brewster, Washington from 31 Januaryit was observed that "You can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on it's [ sic ] tail, spray it with perfume, but it is still a pig. Thompson describes a prank in which he put lipstick on the head of a pig and put it in the toilet of a Florida resort owner.

In the summer of at the Democratic National Convention, Texas Governor Ann Richards said "Well, you can put lipstick on a hog and call it Monique, but it's still a pig. Bush to use US warships to protect oil tankers in the Middle East. In Maybrokerage firm Charles Schwab Corporation ran a television advertisement pointing out Wall Street brokerage firms' conflicts of interest by showing an unidentified sales manager telling his salesmen, "Let's put some lipstick on this pig!

CBS refused to air the ad. The phrase was then used in political rhetoric to criticize spinand to insinuate that a political opponent is attempting to repackage established policies and present them as new.

Bythe phrase had become common and often controversial political invective in the United Kingdom [11] and the United States. In in New Zealand, the phrase became controversial when Opportunities Party leader Gareth Morgan used it in a way that was interpreted by journalists as an insult to Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern. In the Netflix original film A Christmas PrinceLady Sophia uses the phrase to refer to the protagonist Amber in a fit of jealousy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Politics portal. Retrieved 4 March The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 September Dallas News. Retrieved 9 January Slate Magazine. The New York Times.

putting lipstick on a pig analogy

Retrieved 2 November Simon and Schuster. Categories : English phrases Metaphors referring to animals. Hidden categories: Use dmy dates from May Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.

Download as PDF Printable version. Add links. Look up lipstick on a pig in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.September 10, As Barack Obama said a few days ago, "You can't make this stuff up. But this time the campaign went from weird to weirder yesterday due to something else Obama said.

What's the big hoo-haa? The old saying about putting lipstick on a pig changed the conversation from pork as in earmarks to the actual farmyard animal.

Specifically whether the Democratic nominee called Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin a pig see video below.

Well, when expressing skepticism over whether John McCain can bring about change in WashingtonObama lampooned the idea, using his strategy of tying McCain close to President Bush.

No harm, no foul, right? After all, as we've noted earlier - many politicians say it. When you Google exactly what Obama said yesterday, Dick Cheney's use of the phrase is the top result. As a result, the McCain campaign is saying that Obama called Palin a pig. And they went hog-wild in responding to the alleged smear. A hastily arranged conference call was set-up with the leader of the newly formed Palin truth squad, former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift.

Today, the Republicans have rolled out a new web ad that presents Palin's "lipstick and pit bull" phrase followed by Barack Obama's "lipstick and pig" phrase followed by Katie Couric.

Katie Couric? It's a a snippet of video from this past June when Couric was talking about media coverage of Hillary Clinton.

Couric says, "One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life. Former presidential contender Republican Mike Huckabee isn't concerned either. Already a subscriber? Your subscription to The Christian Science Monitor has expired.

The REAL Reason I was pulled of stage👑”Hannah In A Huff” Spilling Tea 🍵 On The DIY Pageant👑

You can renew your subscription or continue to use the site without a subscription. If you have questions about your account, please contact customer service or call us at This message will appear once per week unless you renew or log out. Skip to main content Skip to main menu Skip to search Skip to footer. Search for:.The US Democratic presidential candidate has denied claims of sexism after likening his rival's promise of change to putting "lipstick on a pig".

Barack Obama said Republican John McCain's outrage was "phoney", a diversion from debating real issues. The controversy began on Tuesday after Mr Obama said his rival was advocating change while pursuing the politics of the current Bush administration. Mr McCain's campaign accused him of smearing running mate Sarah Palin. Mrs Palin joked last week that lipstick was all that separated a "hockey mom" and a pitbull.

It's still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough. Soon after Mr Obama's comments, McCain aides produced an election campaign ad referring to "sexism in American life", and accusing the Illinois senator of "smearing" Mrs Palin, governor of Alaska.

'Lipstick on a pig': Attack on Palin or common line?

He dismissed the "made-up controversy" on Wednesday - defending his remark as an "innocent expression". Mr Obama said his comments had been taken out of context. Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Republicans may well try to keep the controversy going, although one difficulty for them is that John McCain has himself used the offending phrase, our Washington correspondent says. Mr McCain had used the same analogy to criticise a health care plan presented by former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton last year.

Mr Obama held a lead of several points earlier this summer. Most Popular Now 56, people are reading stories on the site right now. BBC News Updated every minute of every day. One-Minute World News. News Front Page. E-mail this to a friend Printable version. The famously thin-skinned porcine population of the US is up in trotters about the imputation of cross-dressing.

Pigs and lipstick. Select from the list below to view state level results. Full election results. World leaders hail Obama triumph. Full text: Obama's victory speech. Six-term senator loses in Alaska.It only takes a minute to sign up.

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament? If it's fundamentally flawed : you can't polish a turd. There's the relatively recent one about putting lipstick on a pig.

I'd never heard of lipstick on a pig before US politicians decided to popularise it very recently, so I'd call that a "soundbite" rather than a "proverb".

For something with a slightly longer history You can't make a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear. In my experience, it's normally said disparagingly after a botched attempt to improve something, rather than as advice to start by using good raw materials. Wave a dead chicken to appease powers-that-be that everything that could be done has been done. Add Bells and whistles which doesn't imply the program is faulty but the action is rather useless.

From Merriam Webster :. We can't just paper over the cracks. A recent example of the phrase from Belfast Telegraph :. Papering over cracks of flawed system in Northern Ireland won't work - we need to rip it up and start again. Also see questionquestionquestionquestionand questionsome of which are vaguely related to the current question. Music Industry The house band attempting to make the opening act singer sound good when they sing terrible.

Government Promoting a person as having high moral management standards, when in fact they have no morality at all.

putting lipstick on a pig analogy

Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Phrase which describes falsely improving something Ask Question.

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Asked 8 years, 1 month ago. Active 3 years, 11 months ago. Viewed 22k times. Improve this question. Active Oldest Votes. Improve this answer. Billy Billy 4 4 silver badges 6 6 bronze badges. One has to be careful with this one, but I can't deny I've always liked it since I first heard it.

Not so many years ago, actually, so maybe it's worth trying to establish a "first use" here on ELU.Obama delivered the line while campaigning in Lebanon, Va. Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, speaking on behalf of the McCain campaign, quickly called on Obama to apologize. Palin gave the McCain campaign new energy, evidenced by a jump in the polls, a surge in volunteers, and big crowds.

Recent polls show the race to be a dead heat or McCain with a slight lead, while the Republicans have gained among white women and independents since the Palin pick.

But after Obama focused his attacks on McCain, in recent days he and running mate Joe Biden have been ratcheting up their direct hits on Palin.

In Farmington Hills, Mich. No pit bulls! Read Next. This story has been sharedtimes. This story has been shared 49, times. This story has been shared 31, times. This story has been shared 28, times. View author archive Get author RSS feed. Name required. Email required. Comment required. Obama owes Gov. Share Selection.

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