put (a) lipstick on a pig

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British pronunciation/pˌʊt ɐ lˈɪpstɪk ˌɒn ɐ pˈɪɡ/
American pronunciation/pˌʊt ɐ lˈɪpstɪk ˌɑːn ɐ pˈɪɡ/
to put (a) lipstick on a pig
01

to make a fruitless attempt in order to make something look more beautiful or successful

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to [put] (a|) lipstick on a pig definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "put lipstick on a pig" and when to use it?

The idiom "put lipstick on a pig" is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 20th century. The phrase is used to describe a situation where someone is attempting to make something that is unattractive or unpleasant appear more appealing or attractive, often through superficial or cosmetic means. The idiom implies that the effort to improve the appearance of the thing is ultimately futile or ineffective, as the underlying problems or flaws remain unchanged.

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Example
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The company is trying to improve their public image through a new advertising campaign, but it's just putting a lipstick on a pig - they need to address the underlying problems.
Trying to make a poorly designed website look better with a new color scheme is like putting lipstick on a pig - it won't fix the underlying issues.
I tell my children to be careful not to judge others based on appearances, because you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.
The politician tried to make their flawed policy sound better with clever phrasing, but it was just putting lipstick on a pig - the policy was still flawed.
The team was trying to salvage a failing project by making superficial changes, but it was just putting a lipstick on a pig - the project was still doomed to fail.
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Definition & Meaning of "To [put] (a|) lipstick on a pig"
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