pig in a poke

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Reportedly from the practice of substituting a butchered cat, etc. for a suckling pig when sold in a sack at a market. Other theories circulate but all involve the purchase of a cat in a bag, where the buyer expected better.


English Wikipedia has an article on:

pig in a poke (plural pigs in a poke or pigs in pokes)

  1. (idiomatic) Something whose true value is concealed or unknown and may be lower than expected by the buyer or claimed by the seller, especially something offered for sale.


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