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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

1. To earn money, as from steady employment. The phrase may originate from the fairground contest of trying to catch a greased pig—which was then given to the winner. 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

save (one's) bacon

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

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

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

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

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


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.