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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. I love Alice, but, my goodness, the girl has a good voice to beg bacon! Please do not let her sign up for the talent show. I like to sing, but only in the shower—I know I have a good voice to beg bacon.
See also: bacon, beg, good, to, voice


obsolete 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 Fat and of a 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.

bring home the bacon

1. To earn money, as from steady employment. The phrase may originate from the fairground contest in which participants try to catch a greased pig in order to win it. Now that I have a full-time job, I'm bringing home the bacon! My wife brings home the bacon, while I watch the kids.
2. To be successful. After so many losing seasons, we definitely need a new quarterback—someone who can really bring home the bacon.
See also: bacon, bring, home

language that could/would fry bacon

Extremely coarse, vulgar, offensive, or profane language. My grandmother was the sweetest lady alive, but when she got angry, she could use language that would fry bacon. I'm usually pretty even-tempered, but as soon as I get behind the wheel of a car I start spouting language that could fry bacon.
See also: bacon, could, fry, language, that

live like a maggot in bacon

To live a life of great ease, comfort, or luxury. The phrase comes from German. Jonathan has always lived like a maggot in bacon, pampered by his wealthy parents from a young age.
See also: bacon, like, live, maggot

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) bacon

To rescue one from failure, danger, or disaster; to prevent something bad from happening to one. Thanks for bringing me some extra cash—you really saved my bacon. The company is in dire need of new investors to save their bacon.
See also: bacon, save

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

six degrees of Kevin Bacon

A humorous notion that every actor has a connection to prolific American actor Kevin Bacon through six or fewer links. Based on the concept of "six degrees of separation," that any two people have a shared social connection through six or fewer acquaintances. Often "played" as a sort of parlor game. Not only is six degrees of Kevin Bacon legit, you can make the craziest connections in less than six steps. The man has been in everything!
See also: bacon, degree, of, six

take home the bacon

1. To earn a steady income, especially as the sole or largest earner in a household. I would love to come see your game, kiddo, but I've got to go to work so I can bring home the bacon. My wife has an incredible job at the hospital, so she takes home the bacon while I look after the kids at home.
2. To be very successful or be victorious, especially in sports or a competition. After so many losing seasons, we definitely need a new quarterback—someone who can really take home the bacon. She is the youngest singer to ever take home the bacon in the popular national singing contest.
See also: bacon, home, take

turkey bacon

A guard employed by a private security company; an imitation of a police officer. (Just as turkey bacon is an imitation of the real thing—a reference to the use of pork terms as slang for police officers.) I got a job for a while working as turkey bacon for some tech company. We've just got to distract the turkey bacon for long enough to slip into the warehouse.
See also: bacon, turkey

What's shakin', bacon?

slang What's going on? How are you doing? What's new with you? A: "Hey, bro!" B: "Yo, Mike! What's shakin', bacon?" A: "Not much man, you?"
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, that

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'?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

save someone's bacon

If you save someone's bacon, you get them out of a dangerous or difficult situation. Your mother once saved my bacon, did you know that? She lent me money when I needed it. Note: One explanation for this expression is that `bacon' is related to an old word for `back', so to save your bacon meant to save your back from a beating. Another is that in the past, bacon stored during the winter had to be guarded from hungry dogs. A third explanation is that the expression was in the past thieves' slang meaning `to escape'.
See also: bacon, save

bring home the bacon

1. The person in a family who brings home the bacon is the person who goes out to work and earns money for the family. Sadly, we can't both stay at home and look after the kids — someone needs to bring home the bacon. In the past, husbands needed someone to cook and keep house and wives needed someone to bring home the bacon.
2. In sport, if someone brings home the bacon, they win or do very well. Reid and Duffield showed that they and other jockeys like them are capable of bringing home the bacon in style. The team is still top of the Premiership league, in prime position to bring home the bacon. Note: In the past, large pieces of bacon or even whole pigs were sometimes given as prizes in competitions.
See also: bacon, bring, home
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

bring home the bacon

1 supply material provision or support. 2 achieve success. informal
This phrase probably derives from the much earlier save your bacon , recorded from the mid 17th century. In early use bacon also referred to fresh pork, the meat most readily available to rural people.
2 1997 Spectator Mr Montgomery was able to sack Mr Hargreaves , who had evidently not brought home the bacon.
See also: bacon, bring, home
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bring home the ˈbacon

(informal) be successful in something; be the person who earns money for a family, an organization, etc: The firm wants very much to get this contract, and we’re expecting you to bring home the bacon.He’s the one who brings home the bacon, not his wife.
See also: bacon, bring, home

save somebody’s ˈbacon

(informal) rescue somebody from a difficult or dangerous situation: Thank you for helping me with my exam preparation. You really saved my bacon. OPPOSITE: throw somebody to the wolves/lions
See also: bacon, save
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


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?

What’s shakin’ ?

McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bring home the bacon, to

To succeed, to come back with something of value. The term most likely comes from the sport of catching a greased pig, popular at county fairs, where the winner was awarded the pig. However, Dr. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer believed it might come from a much older practice, instituted as far back as the early twelfth century and revived by Robert Fitzwalter in 1244. This baron willed that a side of bacon be given to any married person who would travel to Dunmow, kneel on two sharp stones at the church door, and swear that for at least a year and a day there had been no fighting in his marriage and no wish to be unmarried.
See also: bring, home, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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