Comic Strip / Comics

Why Is the Comic Strip Called Pearls Before Swine?

Have you ever wondered why the comic strip Pearls Before Swine has such an interesting name? The strip is a popular daily comic that has been running for over 20 years.

Created by cartoonist Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine is known for its humor, wit, and social commentary. But why exactly is it called Pearls Before Swine? Let’s dive into the history and meaning behind the name.

The Origin of the Name

The phrase “pearls before swine” actually comes from a biblical parable found in the book of Matthew. In the parable, Jesus tells his disciples not to give what is holy to dogs or cast pearls before swine, as they will trample them underfoot and turn to attack you (Matthew 7:6). The phrase has since become a common idiom that means offering something valuable to someone who cannot appreciate it.

How It Applies to the Comic Strip

So, how does this relate to the comic strip? In many ways, Pearls Before Swine is like casting pearls before swine.

The strip often deals with complex themes such as politics, religion, and philosophy – topics that many readers may not fully understand or appreciate. However, Pastis still presents these ideas in a humorous and accessible way that can be enjoyed by everyone.

The Humor

One of the main reasons why Pearls Before Swine has become so popular is because of its humor. Pastis uses satire and irony to poke fun at everything from politics to pop culture. He also employs a range of comedic devices such as puns, wordplay, and absurdism to keep readers laughing.

The Social Commentary

But while Pearls Before Swine may be funny on the surface, it also contains deeper social commentary. Pastis uses his characters – which include animals such as a rat, a pig, and a crocodile – to comment on real-world issues such as consumerism, the media, and human nature. By using animals as stand-ins for humans, Pastis is able to make his points in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.


In conclusion, the name Pearls Before Swine is both appropriate and symbolic of what the comic strip represents. Just like the biblical parable it comes from, Pearls Before Swine offers valuable insights and commentary that may not always be appreciated by everyone. But for those who are willing to look past the surface-level humor, there are plenty of pearls of wisdom to be found in this clever and entertaining comic strip.