When pigs fly / When hell freezes over (2024)

When pigs fly / When hell freezes over (1)

The idioms of this page are used to indicate that something is highly unlikely ever to happen, or that it will never happen. This phrase is thought to come from an old Scottish proverb.

An unofficial symbol of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA is a flying pig, partly a result of Cincinnati's associations with the pig trade during the 19th century.

LanguageIdiom
Arabic (fil mushmush) في المشمش
in the season of the apricot (a very short season)
Arabic (Algerian) عندما يزهر الملح في بلادنا
when salt blossoms in my country
Arabic (Egyptian) لمّا توقف على عيدك
When you stand on your hand
Arabic (Moroccan) (ila tarat maza) الا طارت معزة
If goats fly
(nhar limando khoh) النهار لمعندو خوه
The day doesn’t have a brother
Belarusian Як воўк брахаць хвастом будзе (Jak voŭk brahać hvastom budz′e)
Like a wolf wagging its tail
Bosnian Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe
When grapes rippen on the willow
Bulgarian На куково лято (Na kukovo ljato)
In a cuckoo summer
Catalan Quan les vaques volin
When cows fly
La setmana dels tres dijous
The week with 3 Thursdays
Chinese 除非太陽從西邊出來 [除非太阳从西边出来] (chúfēi tàiyáng cóng xībiān chūlái)
Unless the sun would rise from the West
Croatian Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe
When grapes rippen the on willow
Na sveto nigdarjevo
On St. Nobody's day
Czech Až naprší a uschne
After it rains and dries
Až na svatého Dyndy / Na svatého Dyndy
On the St. Elsewhen's day
'Dyndy' is a non-existent name in Czech, rhyming with the Czech word 'jindy', meaning some other time.
Danish Når helvede fryser til is
When hell freezes over
Når der er to torsdage i en uge
When there's two Thursdays in a week
Dutch Wanneer Pasen en Pinksteren op één dag vallen
When Easter and Whitsun fall on the same day
Met Sint Juttemis
With St. Juttemis (an imaginary saint)
Als de kalveren op het ijs dansen
If the calves dance on ice
Als de uilen preken
If the owls preach
English When pigs fly / and pigs might fly
When hell freezes over
On a cold day in hell
Not in a month of Sundays
Esperanto En la triĵaŭda semajno
On the week with three thursdays
Estonian Kui sead lendavad
When pig's fly
Finnish Kun helvetti jäätyy
When hell freezes over
Kun lehmät lentävät
When cows fly
Kun lipputangot kukkivat
When flagpoles bloom
French Quand les poules auront des dents
When chicken have teeth
la semaine des 4 jeudis
the week with 4 Thursdays - (French school children used to get Thursdays off)
à la Saint Glinglin
On Saint Glinglin's day (an imaginary saint)
Dans la semaine des quatre jeudis
In the week of the four Thursdays
German Wenn Ostern und Pfingsten auf einen Tag fallen
When Easter and Whistun fall on the same day
Am Sankt Nimmerleinstag / an Sankt Nimmerlein
On Saint Never's day / on Saint Never
Wenn die Hölle zufriert
When Hell freezes over
Wenn es im Sommer schneit
When it snows in summer
Hindi sooraj pashchim se ugega
When the sun will rise in the west
Hungarian Majd ha piros hó esik
When it's snowing red snowflakes
Majd ha cigánygyerekek potyognak az égből
When gipsy children are streaming from the sky
Majd ha a pokol befa*gy
When Hell freezes over
Irish Nuair a thitfidh an spéir an talamh
When the sky falls to the ground
Nuair a thiocfaidh an lá inné ar ais
When yesterday comes again
Italian Alle calende greche
By the Greek calendar
Quando voleranno gli asini
When donkeys will fly
Quando Pasqua viene a maggio
When Easter falls in May
L'anno del mai / L'anno del mai e il mese del poi
The year of never and the month of then
Nella settimana dei due giovedì
In the week with two thursdays
Quanno pisceno le galline
When hens piss (Roman dialect)
Korean 귀신 씨나락 까먹는 소리 (gwishin ssinarak kkamuhkneun sori)
The sound of a ghost eating rice seeds
개 풀 뜯어먹는 소리 (gaehpul tteuduhmuhkneun sori)
The sound of a dog grazing
Latin Ad kalendas Graecas
on the Greek Kalends - unlike the Roman calendar,
Kalends did not feature in the Greek calendar, so this phrase
is roughly equivalent to "at British Thanksgiving"
(Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the UK).
Latvian Kad pūcei aste ziedēs
When the owl's tail blossoms
Kad slotaskātam lapas plauks
When the broomstick's leaves open
Luxembourgish Wann Päischten op Neijôrsdag fällt
When Whistun and New Year's Day fall on the same day
Macedonian Кога врбата ќе роди грозје (Koga vrbata ke rodi grozye)
When grapes will grow on willows
На куково лето (Na kukovo leto)
In the year of the cuckoo
Malayalam kākka malannu parakkum
The crow will fly upside down
kozhikku mula varumpol
(When the hen has a breast)
Norwegian Når griser flyr
When pigs fly
Når det snør i helvete
When it's snowing in hell
Occitan Quand las galinas pissaran
When hens will pee
Odia ଆକାଶ କଇଆଁ ଚିଲିକା ମାଛ (ākāso kaiā̃ chilikā māchho)
The tamarind from the sky will be brought to cook the fish from the Chilika lake
Persian (Farsi) (vaghte gole ney) وقت گل نی
Polish Na Święty Nigdy
on Saint Never's Day
Kiedy mi kaktus na ręku wyrośnie
When the cactus will grow on my hand
Portuguese Quando a vaca tussa / quando a vaca tossir
When the cow coughs
No Dia de São Nunca
On Saint Never's day
Romanian la Paştele cailor
at horses' Easter
la Sfântu-aşteaptă
on Saint Wait's day/at Saint Wait
când o zbura porcul
when the pig should fly
când o face plopul pere
when the linden tree bears pears
când o face plopul pere şi răchita micşunele
when the linden tree bears pears and the willow wall-flowers
când mi-oi vedea ceafa
when I'll see the back of my head
La Paştele cailor şi la nunta vacilor
At Easter of the horses and at the wedding of the cows
Russian Когда рак на горе свистнет (Kogda rak na gore svisnet)
When the crayfish on the hill whistles
Scots Whaun twa munes in the lift sall shine
When two moons in the sky shall shine
Serbian Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe
When grapes grow on willows
Slovenian Ob svetem nikoli
On Saint Never's Day
Spanish Cuando las ranas críen pelo
When frogs grow hair
El día del arquero
Goalkeeper's day
Cuando llueva para arriba
When it rains upwards
Swedish När grisar flyger
When pigs fly
När helvetet fryser till is
When hell freezes over
Hear these phrases
Tagalog Pagputi ng uwak
When the crow turns white
Pag-itim ng tagak
When the heron turns black
Thai ตอนเซเว่นปิด (ton sē wēn pit)
when the 7-11 is closed
ชาติหน้า (chāt nha)
next lifetime
Turkish Balık ağaca/kavağa çıkınca
When a fish climbs a poplar tree
Ukrainian коли рак на горі свисне (koly rak na gori svisne)
when the crayfish on the hill whistles
коли воша пчихне (koly voša pčyxne)
when louse will sneeze
Vietnamese (cho đến) Tết Marốc
(until a) Moroccan Tet (Tet is Vietnamese New Year)
Welsh Pan fydd moch yn hedfan
When pigs fly
Pan fydd uffern yn rhewi drosodd
When hell freezes over
Pan fydd 'Dolig yn yr haf, a gwsberis yn y gaeaf
When Christmas will be in the summer and goosberries in winter
Yoruba Ní ìgbátí adìẹ́ bá hu eyín
When the chicken has teeth

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It's all Greek to me | It's raining cats and dogs | As easy as falling off a log | A sandwich short of a picnic | It's small world | When pigs fly | Out of sight, out of mind | Crystal-clear | Penny Pinching | Practice makes perfect | The grass is always greener | As Snug as a Bug in a Rug

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When pigs fly / When hell freezes over (9)

When pigs fly / When hell freezes over (2024)

FAQs

When pigs fly / When hell freezes over? ›

Events that can never happen

What is the old saying when pigs fly? ›

The phrase 'When Pigs Fly' refers to something that is highly unlikely to ever happen. Example of use: "I might wake up early tomorrow to clean my room". "Yes, you'll do that when pigs fly".

What is the saying about when pigs fly? ›

The phrase "when pigs fly" (alternatively, "pigs might fly") is an adynaton—a figure of speech so hyperbolic that it describes an impossibility. The implication of such a phrase is that the circ*mstances in question (the adynaton, and the circ*mstances to which the adynaton is being applied) will never occur.

What is the saying about hell freezing over? ›

If you say that something will happen when hell freezes over, you mean that it will never happen.

What is the metaphor when pigs fly? ›

Definition: It's impossible for pigs to fly, so when someone says this, they are saying that something will (most likely) never happen. Examples: “I might wake up early to clean my room…” “Yeah right, you'll do that when pigs fly.”

What does the phrase pigs must fly mean? ›

phrase. If you say `when pigs fly' after someone has said that something might happen, you are emphasizing that you think it is very unlikely. [humorous, informal, emphasis]

What does the phrase pigs can fly mean? ›

said when you think that there is no chance at all of something happening: "I'll have finished it by tomorrow." "And pigs can fly!" SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases. Impossible and improbable.

What's another saying like when pigs fly? ›

Events that can never happen

As a response to an unlikely proposition, "when pigs fly", "when pigs have wings", or simply "pigs might fly". "When Hell freezes over" and "on a cold day in Hell" are based on the understanding that Hell is eternally an extremely hot place. The "Twelfth of Never" will never come to pass.

When pigs fly away meaning? ›

US, informal. used to say that one thinks that something will never happen. The train station will be renovated when pigs fly.

What does the 🐖 mean? ›

A pig, a plump animal farmed for its meat, such as bacon. Depicted in light pink in full profile on all fours facing left, with a long snout and short, curly tail. May be used to represent the animal, its food products, or various metaphorical senses of pig.

Where did the phrase when hell freezes over come from? ›

This saying appears to have originated around the 1910s and first appeared in print in 1919. It was a favorite expression of both P.G. Wodehouse and F. Scott Fitzgerald - the latter often ended his letters with "Yours till hell freezes over".

Who in the Eagles said when hell freezes over? ›

In 1980, when the Eagles split after years of multi-million-selling success but increasingly fractious relations between the group members, Don Henley's answer to the question about when they would play together again was “when hell freeze over.” Fourteen years later, metaphorically speaking, it did.

Who said fight them until hell freezes over? ›

"Fight 'em until hell freezes over. Then fight 'em on the ice!" -Dutch Meyer It's time to #BeatTheBuckeyes.

What is the symbolism of flying pigs? ›

From a psychological perspective, the dream symbol of a flying pig represents a desire for transformation, inner growth, or a need to challenge prevailing beliefs. It may suggest that the dreamer is exploring unconventional ideas, questioning societal norms, or seeking unconventional solutions to problems.

Why is it called the flying pig? ›

But why the Flying Pig? According to the marathon's website, the name is inspired by Cincinnati's infamous Porkopolis nickname from the 1800s. During that time, agriculture was the city's primary industry, and hogs were a major source of income for farmers.

When pigs fly bad piggies? ›

When Pigs Fly is the third (formerly the second) episode of Bad Piggies, and will be the player's prime introduction to air-based vehicles, and follows directly after the events of Ground Hog Day. It has 36 levels plus 9 Cave levels.

What is the old saying hogs get slaughtered? ›

This is when I invoke my “Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered” analogy, and we take an in-depth look at our relationship with our customer. The idea behind the analogy is that there is nothing wrong with being satisfied or profitable, but if one is too greedy or too ambitious, it can lead to ruin.

What is the old saying pigs ear? ›

Make a pig's ear' is a mid 20th century phrase and means 'completely botch something up; make a complete mess of it'. ... The expression derives from the old proverb 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear', which dates from the 16th century.

What's another way to say when pigs fly? ›

What is another word for when pigs fly?
not on your nellyno way
definitely notin no circ*mstances
not under any circ*mstancesnot for love or money
by no meanscertainly not
in no waynot in the slightest
33 more rows

Where did the term flying pigs come from? ›

No one is certain exactly who developed the phrase “when pigs fly." An old reference to pigs flying appears in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. However, scholars believe Carroll may have picked up the phrase from the Scottish, who allegedly had been using the phrase for a couple hundred years.

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