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High on the hog

High on the hog is an idiom that dates back to the late 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of the phrase high on the hog, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

High on the hog means an affluent lifestyle, living luxuriously. The term is often exapanded to live high on the hog. Related phrases are lives high on the hog, lived high on the hog, living high on the hog. The term high on the hog refers to the fact that the choicest cuts of pork come from the back or the upper leg of the hog. The assumption is that people of means live on cuts of pork that come from the upper portions of the hog, while people of more modest means eat cuts of pork that are less expensive and located on the lower portions of the hog. The terms high on the hog and living high on the hog were first used in the United States during the late 1800s, though the terms did not become popular until the 1940s. When used as an adjective before a noun, the term is hyphenated as in high-on-the-hog.


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Examples

Of course women always have loved me for my money and as soon as Trixie finds my pot of gold, we are going to be living high on the hog, let me tell you. (The Monte Vista Journal)

Devine went on to say: “Smug, entitled public servants live high on the hog, with taxpayer-funded massages, business class travel, gentleman’s hours, high-class restaurants, cafes on every corner, and a furious resistance to Barnaby Joyce’s sensible idea of decentralising the federal bureaucracy to repopulate dying country towns.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

If Trump’s victory was anything, it was a rebuke to what many voters view as a cabal of high-on-the-hog establishment politicians. (The Daily Caller)

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