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  • Marius H Visser

Pigs, right? Who knew they couldn't sweat?

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

Who knew? Am I the only one? I thought I'd share some interesting things that I have learnt on my journey as an author, and today was something I didn't expect, to be honest. Sometimes we say things and we rarely go back and really think about it. As it happened, while I was writing King's Plight (Book 2 in the Dragon Wars Saga) I mentioned that someone sweated like a pig, and at first, I didn't think anything of it. But then it got me curious. Why do we say that? And so I did some research... There's a ton of research to be done when writing...yet not often about pigs I would assume. Unless you're writing another Babe novel I guess. But we digress.

This is where I found out that pigs in fact do not really sweat! How weird is that?

So then why do we say "sweat like a pig," you ask? Why indeed...

The term is actually derived from the iron smelting process in which hot iron poured in moulds cools and solidifies with the pieces branching off to look like piglets suckling on a sow. Hence "pig iron". Once produced it is way too hot to transport or be touched so they needed to wait for it to cool down. As the iron cools, the surrounding air reaches its dew point, and beads of moisture form on the surface of the "pigs". "Sweating like a pig" indicates that the "pig" (i.e. iron) has cooled enough to be safely handled.

Why am I giving you this useless information? I don't know... I found it fascinating and wanted to share some of my journey with you. I hope you found this as interesting as I did.

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