News & Events

“Pigs might fly”

If you had said to me a year ago, or even a month ago, that England would be leaving the European Community, I would have said: “Pigs might fly!”

You might have responded “Pigs can’t fly! That’s impossible!”

Of course it’s impossible, which is exactly what this idiom means. We use it to respond to someone who tells us something that we think will never happen. As we saw from the Brexit result, British people are very divided about whether to leave or remain and this has been more or less a consistent situation in the months leading up to the referendum (“nei mesi che portavano al referendum”). However I have the impression that when most people went to bed on Thursday night they never thought that “LEAVE” would be the majority choice.

In last week’s idiom I talked about how astronaut Tim Peake had spent six months living on the International Space Station. I know that if I had said that to my grandmother back in the 1970s when space travel was starting, she’d have said “Pigs might fly!” because she never believed that could happen.

I remember I often used this idiom when my children were growing up.

  • “Mum, I’m going to tidy my room..”

“Yes, sure. Pigs might fly.”

  • “ Mum, I’ll come and help you make the dinner!”

“Really? Pigs might fly.”

  • My husband has just suggested this example:

“If you had said that Leicester City would win the Premier League this year, I’d have said “Pigs might fly!”

What do you think could never happen?

Enjoy the start of summer!