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a good voice to beg bacon

Used to mock someone's voice as being strange, unpleasant, or inadequate (e.g., for singing). Bacon, being a dietary staple in older times, was often used as a metaphor for financial stability or wealth; having the voice of one who must "beg bacon," then, means having a harsh voice, like someone who is undernourished. Did you hear the way that singer was screeching last night? I'm glad we didn't stay too long, he had a good voice to beg bacon.
See also: bacon, beg, good, voice


Having a corpulent, clean-shaven face, likened to that of a pig. These bacon-faced magistrates, puffed up with their own self-importance, grow fat off the hard work of the poor.


obsolete Overweight and of greasy complexion. Used by the character Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, referring to the "bacon-fed knaves" whom he is about to rob. Those slovenly, bacon-fed men who feed their faces till near bursting fill me with disgust.

pull (someone's) bacon out of the fire

To save someone from imminent or impending trouble, difficulty, or danger. My brother is the best lawyer in town, and he's pulled my bacon out of the fire on more than one occasion! The president gets all the credit for the economic recovery, but it was really a team of international financial strategists that pulled our bacon out of the fire.
See also: bacon, fire, of, out, pull

save (one's) own bacon

To rescue or protect oneself from danger, trouble, or difficulty, usually without regard or concern for the welfare of others. In the face of the IRS audit, the CEO was more concerned with saving his own bacon than ensuring his employees' jobs remained secure. Just be sure not to leave yourself exposed in this scandal—you can be sure that the senator is looking to save her own bacon, and you should be doing the same.
See also: bacon, own, save

bring home the bacon

Fig. to earn a salary; to bring home money earned at a job. I've got to get to work if I'm going to bring home the bacon. Go out and get a job so you can bring home the bacon.
See also: bacon, bring, home

language that would fry bacon

Rur. profanity; swearing; curse words. ("Hot" language.) He carried on in language that would fry bacon. I was shocked when I heard that sweet little girl use language that would fry bacon.
See also: bacon, fry, language

save someone's skin

 and save someone's neck; save one's bacon
Fig. to save someone from injury, embarrassment, or punishment. I saved my skin by getting the job done on time. Thanks for saving my neck! I would have fallen down the stairs if you hadn't held my arm.
See also: save, skin

What's shakin'?

 and What's shakin' bacon?
Sl. How are you?; What is new? What's shakin' bacon? What's going down? Hi, Jim. What's shakin'?

bring home the bacon

1. to earn money to live on If Jo's going to stay at home with the kids, someone else will have to bring home the bacon.
2. to do something successfully Holtzman pitched poorly, and he was followed by McNamara, who didn't bring home the bacon either.
Usage notes: usually said about playing sports
See also: bacon, bring, home

save your bacon

to prevent something very bad from happening to you It's a short book but it could save your bacon when you're traveling overseas.
See also: bacon, save

bring home the bacon

1. to earn money to live on If Jo's going to be at home looking after the kids, someone needs to bring home the bacon.
2. to do something successfully, especially to win a game or race Racegoers crowded the stand to see him bring home the bacon. (= win the race)
See also: bacon, bring, home

save somebody's bacon

  (mainly British informal)
to save someone from failure or difficulties You saved my bacon there. I'd probably have lost my job if you hadn't been ready with an explanation.
See also: bacon, save

save somebody's skin

to save someone from failure or difficulties You saved my skin telling my parents I stayed with you last night.
See also: save, skin

bring home the bacon

1. Earn a living, provide the necessities of life, as in Now that she had a job, Patricia could bring home the bacon.
2. Be successful, accomplish something of value, as in George went to Washington and brought home the bacon-he got the funding we needed. Although the earliest citation for this phrase in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1924, the term is widely believed to come from the much older game of catching a greased pig, a popular competition at country fairs in which the winner was awarded the pig.
See also: bacon, bring, home

save one's bacon

Also, save one's neck or skin. Rescue one from a difficult situation or harm, as in I was having a hard time changing the flat tire but along came Bud, who saved my bacon, or The boat capsized in icy waters, but the life preservers saved our skins. The allusion in the first term is no longer clear. It may simply be a comical way of referring to one's body or one's life. At the time it was first recorded, in 1654, bacon was a prized commodity, so perhaps saving one's bacon was tantamount to keeping something precious. Both variants allude to saving one's life, the one with skin dating from the early 1500s, and with neck, alluding to beheading, from the late 1600s.
See also: bacon, save


n. the police; a police officer. (see also pig.) Keep an eye out for the bacon.

turkey bacon

n. a (untrained) night watchman; a uniformed but unoffical “police officer;” fake bacon = cop. The place is guarded by creeky-kneed turkey bacon. I’ll distract them while you sneak in.
See also: bacon, turkey

What’s shakin’ (bacon)?

interrog. How are you?; What is new? What’s shakin’ bacon? What’s going down?

bring home the bacon

1. To earn a living, especially for a family.
2. To achieve desired results; have success.
See also: bacon, bring, home
References in classic literature ?
It was then that Bacon had to choose between friend and Queen.
Among the learned counsel sat Bacon, a disappointed man of forty.
As the trial went on, however, Bacon spoke, not to save, but to condemn.
Perhaps Bacon could not have saved his friend from death, but had he used his wit to try at least to save instead of helping to condemn, he would have kept his own name from a dark blot.
To Bacon it seemed too small a reward for his betrayal of his friend, even although it had seemed to mean loyalty to his Queen.
Albans that Bacon had built himself a splendid house, laid out a beautiful garden, and planted fine trees, and there he kept as great state as the King himself.
At first Bacon could not believe that any one would dare to attack him.
I was the justest judge that was in England these fifty years," said Bacon afterwards.
The woman killed and made ready the hen, but Bacon was so eager about his experiment that he stuffed it himself with snow.
This little story of how Bacon came by his death gives a good idea of how he tried to make use of his philosophy.
In his will Bacon left his name and memory "to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations and to the next ages," and he was right to do so, for in spite of all the dark shadows that hang about his name men still call him great.
But so it was, and Bacon translated his books into Latin so that they might live when English books "were not.
I will not weary you with a list of all the books Bacon wrote.
May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a show of support for unsung bacons everywhere, Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon today announced a campaign to get Emmy-Award-winning composer Michael Bacon the most Twitter followers in the Bacon family.
It presented an e-commerce site last year which encouraged people to give bacons as gifts on Father's Day with an amazing Say It with Bacon promotion.