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Old English swin "pig, hog," from Proto-Germanic *swinan (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian Middle Low German, Old High German swin, Middle Dutch swijn, Dutch zwijn, German Schwein), neuter adjective (with suffix *-ino-) from PIE *su- (see sow (n.)). The native word, largely ousted by pig. Applied to persons from late 14c. Phrase pearls before swine (mid-14c.) is from Matt. vii:6; an early English formation of it was:
Ne ge ne wurpen eowre meregrotu toforan eo wrum swynon. [c.1000]The Latin word was confused in French with marguerite "daisy" (the "pearl" of the field), and in Dutch the expression became "roses before swine."
(Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16). A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32, 33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).