Save one’s bacon

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The idiom save one’s bacon is surprisingly old. We will examine the meaning of the idiom save one’s bacon, where this phrase came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The popular expression save one’s bacon means to prevent harm, to stop someone from failing, to avoid disaster. The idiom save one’s bacon has been in use since the early 1600s, when the word bacon meant any cured pork meat. At that time, bacon was a slang term for the human body. Related phrases are saves one’s bacon, saved one’s bacon, saving one’s bacon. Other related English expressions that also mean to prevent harm or avoid disaster are the phrasal verbs save one’s neck and save one’s skin.


That doesn’t bother me at all because of all the times he saved my bacon. (The Williamsport Sun-Gazette)

Collision mitigation, namely automatic emergency braking, has saved my bacon more than once. (The Commercial CArrier Journal)

That’s right: The House Democrats whom Trump was trashing just yesterday saved his bacon on probably the single biggest piece of legislation in Congress this year, with Pelosi doing the heavy lifting. (New York Magazine)

And what gall he had by not halting a comment on how shortstop Derek Jeter saved his bacon to support a Trump Cabinet selection. (The Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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