cast pearls before swine

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From the Bible "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." – KJV, Matthew 7:6

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Verb[edit]

cast pearls before swine (third-person singular simple present casts pearls before swine, present participle casting pearls before swine, simple past and past participle cast pearls before swine)

  1. (idiomatic) To give things of value to those who will not understand or appreciate them.
    • 1947, Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, Scene 10:
      Blanche: ...Physical beauty is passing. A transitory possession. But beauty of the mind and richness of the spirit and tenderness of the heart—and I have all of those things—aren't taken away, but grow! Increase with the years! How strange that I should be called a destitute woman! When I have all of these treasures locked in my heart. [A choked sob comes from her] I think of myself as a very, very rich woman! But I have been foolish—casting my pearls before swine!

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