vitruvian pig

A Trespass of Swine

the Porkopolis blog

Considerations of humanity and hogritude, because an insufficiency of pigs is one of the great faults of all that the gods have made manifest to man.

A Brief History of Pigs and Flight

flying pig


flying pig on coin

276 BC

“If a pig can not fly, then it walks.”

~ Porculus (327 – 291 BC)
The Pigaleian (276 BC)


pig riding a flying fish

1553

“Pigs flie in the ayre with their tails forward…”

~ John Withals
A Shorte Dictionarie for Yonge Begynners (1553)


pig balloon

c. 1620s

“Pigs might fly, but they are very unlikely birds.”

~ a popular British euphemism (ca. 1620s)


flying pig 4

1871

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, / To talk of many things: / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, / Of cabbages and kings, / And why the sea is boiling hot, / And whether pigs have wings.”

~ Edward Lear (1812-1888)
The Owl and the Pussycat (1871)


chimera pig

1906

RABBLE, n.: in a republic, those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections. The rabble is like the sacred Simurgh, of Arabian fable — omnipotent on condition that it do nothing. (The word is Aristocratese, and has no exact equivalent in our tongue, but means, as nearly as may be, “soaring swine.”

~ Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)
The Devil’s Dictionary (1906)


brabazon pig

1909

“The first pig to fly in an aeroplane was taken up for a joyride in a biplane by Lord Brabazon, holder of the first pilot license in Britain.”

~ TIMES,, London (1909).


pigasus

1923

“But it is only men, especially wise men, who discuss whether pigs can fly; we have no particular proof that pigs ever discuss it.”

~ G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Fancies Versus Facts (1923)


flying pigs

1928

“Owl,” said Pooh, “Could you fly up to the letter-box with Piglet on your back?”

“No,” said Piglet quickly, “He couldn’t.”

Owl explained to Pooh about the necessary Dorsal Muscles. Piglet hurriedly added that he had been getting much bigger lately, “so it’s no good thinking about it.”

~ A.A. Milne (1882-1956)
The House at Pooh Corner (1928)


pig taking off

1991

“The flavor of Carefree Sugarless Gum… How long will it last? It’ll last ’till pigs fly.”

~ Radio advertisement (1991)


pig flying on a kite

1992

“A pig who doesn’t fly is just an ordinary pig”

~ Hayao Miyazaki (b. 1941)
Porco Rosso (1992)


flying pig weather vane

1994

“Pork — the other white meat. Leaner. Healthier. We’re going where no pig has gone before. Come along. Take that one small step… Buy pork!”

~ National Pork Producers Council, an American Trade Organization (cac. 94).


flying pig 2

1996

“Don’t discount flying pigs before you have a good air defense.”

~ jvh@clinet.FI (ca.1996)


stan rice pig

1997

“The idea of the flying pig… of that most earthly and sod-rooting of mammals flying on wings… may be my aesthetic writ small.”

~ Stan Rice (1942-2002)
Paintings (1997)


flying pig 5

1999

“[the winged swine represent] the angelic spirits of all the pigs that were slaughtered and were building blocks of Cincinnati’s prosperity. So they’re up there paying one last tribute — singing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ — to all their (dead) brethren who flowed into the river.”

~ Andrew Leicester (b. 1948)
Cincinnati Enquirer (Friday, May 07, 1999)


flying pig 4

2001

“We just want investors to know that while past performance is no guarantee of future results, with our history of building shareholder value, we think we can keep this pig flying.”

~ Smithfield Foods, Inc, from a web based press release (2001)


flying pig 3

2008

“The aerodynamic potential of pigs has long been debated. Is that plump body a proper fuselage? Can a curvilinear tail assembly function as a rudder? Will cloven appendages withstand the stress of landing? And, eh… Just where are the wings? Perhaps only the Walrus knows.”

~ D.E. Schultz
Porkopolis.org; introduction to ‘Flight’ section of Quotations collection for the site’s 2008 redesign


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3 Comments



  1. I must say I was rather surprised not to see the flying pig from Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ album… It’s the most famous flying pig that I know of :)


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A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.