In Reply to: Re: Various phrases posted by Gary Martin on January 14, 2010 at 12:04:
: : The Readers' Digest have asked me if I know the origin of these phrases:
: : "He couldn't stop a pig in an entry" (said of a bow-legged man)
: : "Stop hanging the bag out" (stop messing around)
: : "It won't turn into a pig's foot" (said to a child to reassure a slightly injured child)
: : Right off the top, I don't. Anyone familiar with them?
: Just for info. An entry is an alleyway between two (usually terraced) houses. That name is used in the English Midlands (and elsewhere?); 'ginnel' is used in the North.
As far as the first goes, I am familiar with it - it is used in Ireland, too. I assume it arose because stopping a running pig in a narrow passageway (such as an alley or an entry or whatever it might be called) is not difficult for most people: one just stands there and the pig can't get past.
However, a bow-legged person would have his (or her) legs so far apart that the pig would simply run through them.