when pigs fly

(redirected from pigs may fly)

when pigs fly

At a point in time that will never come to pass. (Used to show skepticism or cynicism over some hypothetical situation or outcome.) A: "If we could just both political parties to agree on a tax reform bill, we could bring the deficit down in no time." B: "Sure, that will happen—when pigs fly!" I'm sure that David would be happy to pay for everyone—when pigs fly, that is.
See also: fly, pig
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

when pigs fly

Never, as in Sure he'll pay for the drinks-when pigs fly. Equating the flight of pigs with something impossible dates from the early 1600s, when several writers alleged that pigs fly with their tails forward. The idiom is also put as pigs may fly.
See also: fly, pig
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.

when pigs fly

Also, and pigs might fly. Never. Versions of this sarcastic remark, indicating the unlikeliness of an event, date from at least the eighteenth century. One of the first written versions was “That is as likely as to see a Hog fly” (Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732), and numerous proverb collections repeat the idea. For example, “Will I work for that company again? When pigs fly!” See also till hell freezes over.
See also: fly, pig
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"Pigs may fly. Yes, sir, pigs MAY fly--but they don't.
There is a new Israeli-Egypt axis, and God gave the Jews the land of other people and ordered them to murder men, women and children, and pigs may fly.
Yes - and pigs may fly, you've heard it all before!
The answer would be for people to stop paying the exorbitant admission prices at the grounds, but then pigs may fly. Even if they did, I wonder if it would be regarded as more interesting than the name of someone who managed to put his designer-boot to the ball.
PIGS may fly and, under certain high-octane circumstances, cows can no doubt be observed jumping over the moon.