“Thinking again?” the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.
“I’ve a right to think,” said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried.
“Just about as much right,” said the Duchess, “as pigs have to fly….”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9.
Everyone knows that pigs can’t fly.
Except, of course, when they do. And fly they do, in all sorts of lore and literature, song and show, and even in a few airborne vessels. This ThThTh list is hog-wild for the swine of the skies.
A list of flying pigs
- when pigs fly: an expression by which a speaker can convey the opinion that a given event will never happen. As in “this blog will be awarded a Pulitzer when pigs fly.”
- when pigs grow wings: an expression that means “when pigs fly”
- Pigs Have Wings, by P.G. Wodehouse. A book by the author of the Jeeves and Wooster series.
- Flying Pig: a character on Kids in the Hall, portrayed by Bruce McCulluch. He is a winged pig who flies and “entertains people at bank-machines and other of life’s many lineups.” (See him in flight on YouTube.)
- Pigasus: various references to winged pigs. The name plays on Pegasus (a winged horse)
- Cincinnati: this city has adopted a winged pig as a mascot. The city has a Flying Pig Marathon.
- references to flying pigs are used in many different business such as restaurants and art galleries . I’ve bought bread adorned with a winged pig from a bakery called When Pigs Fly. There’s evenFlying Pig Eyewear.
- winged pigs have become so ubiquitous as to be commonly used for decoration, such as adorning weathervanes
- “Pigs on the Wing”, a song by Pink Floyd
- The first recorded pig flight took place in England in 1909. (source)
The first historically recorded flight of a pig took place on British soil, at Leysdown in Kent in 1909. The pig was carried aloft by J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon, later the First Lord Brabazon of Tara, in his personal French-built Voisin aero plane.
The pig was placed into a wicker basket, which was in turn strapped to a wing strut of the aero plane. A hand-lettered sign attached to the basket read: ‘I am the first pig to fly.’ Brabazon purposefully carried the pig aloft, thereby disproving the long help opinion that ‘pigs can not fly.’
- More recently another flying pig made the news after a flight on a commercial airline
- Pigs in Space: these pigs from the Muppet Show have mastered not just flight, but space flight.
- ad astra per alia porci: Steinbeck’s motto “To the stars on the wings of a pig” (found via the blog On Pig’s Wings, taking its name “from Steinbeck, whose motto, described his status as a ‘lumbering soul but trying to fly.'” )
- Can’t get enough flying pigs? Lots more about them can be found at Porkopolis, a website devoted to all things porcine. Be sure to check posts in the category “flight,” and the informative post A Brief History of Pigs and Flight. Flying pigs have their own Wiki page, too.
12 thoughts on “the swine flew”
I love you. When will we meet?
Ooh ooh, I have another flying pig for you. It’s from a Roger Waters concert in Houston a few years back. (i know you cited the pink floyd song already) They released this giant inflatable pig out over the crowd and to who knows where in the Houston area. Waters would have a muralist spruce up the pig before release.
Hmm, I don’t know how to post a photo in a comment. You can take a gander at the photos here, here, here, and here if you’re curious.
I miss you.
“You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me.
So I don’t feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I’ve found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.”
Two of my favorite songs for longer than I’d care to recall.
And later I’ll have to pull out my complete set of KITH dvds, because I had forgotten totally about the flying pig. Plus, it’s always good to hear the Terrier Song.
What a beautiful piggy (chronicler) you are, you are, what a beautiful person you are.
the swine flew has to go down in history as one of the most clever blog headlines ever. Love it!
I loved Pigs in Space!
wow, not only KITH, but also pigs in spaaaaaaaaaaaace!!
You are hilarious!
So that’s how the little piggy got to the market!
I love Pigs in Space, love it! What a great list. Thanks!
i remember that pigs in space.
ok, this is shameful to admit, but when I was in 6th grade a boy i had a huge crush on said he’s go out with me “when pigs fly” so I drew him a picture of pigs flying. I wish I could say it charmed him and we then “went out,” but no, I just turned into more of a social reject.