Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Bringing Home The Bacon

Posted by Elyse Bruce on February 19, 2010

The earliest citation for this phrase dates back to 1924 and can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary.  It is, however, much older than that and has its origins in the popular competition that used to be held at county fairs over the centuries.

Back in the day, the practice was to grease a pig and to then let the pig loose among a number of blind-folded contestants.  The contestant who successfully caught and held on to the greased pig was awarded the pig.

As bacon comes from pigs, winners of these contests were said to be “bringing home the bacon” to their family.

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