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When Pigs Fly and Las Vacas Vuelen

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In English, if we want to say that something will never occur, we say it’ll happen when pigs fly or when hell freezes over. In Spanish, you can express this idea by saying it will happen “when cows fly,” or el día que las vacas vuelen. In Italian, the same idea is reflected in a phrase that translates as “when donkeys fly.” In Malay, that event will occur “when cats grow horns,” in French “when chickens have teeth,” and in Bulgarian “when the pig in yellow slippers climbs the pear tree.” This rhetorical device is called an adynaton, from a Greek word that means “impossible.” This is part of a complete episode.

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  • When pigs fly! Check out Pink Floyd’s album art for their “Animals” album.

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