You cannot make a silk purse of a sow's car. “You cannot make a
horn of a pig's tail.” A sow's ear may somewhat resemble a purse, and a
curled pig's tail may somewhat resemble a twisted horn, but a sow's ear
cannot be made into a silk purse, nor a pig's tail into a cow's horn.
You cannot make, my lord, I fear,
A velvet purse of a sow's ear.
Peter Pindar: Lord B. and His Motions.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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