A pig in a poke


      • to be deceived or tricked
        To be sold something without knowing its true value or quality, often resulting in a loss or disappointment. Can also refer to accepting something blindly without fully understanding its implications or consequences.

      • to take a risk
        To take a chance on something without fully knowing or understanding its true value or worth. Can also refer to blindly accepting a risky or uncertain situation.

    Examples of A pig in a poke

    • John was hesitant to buy the used car from the shady dealer because he didn't want to end up with a pig in a poke.

      This idiom means buying something without seeing or knowing what it is. It comes from the old practice of selling pigs in bags, where the buyer couldn't see the pig until they opened the bag. If the pig was sickly or deformed, the buyer would be disappointed and feel like they had been cheated.

    • Sarah's boyfriend surprised her with a trip to a foreign country, but she was wary because she didn't want to be a pig in a poke.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used in a different context, such as traveling to an unfamiliar place. It emphasizes the importance of being cautious and informed before making a decision or taking a risk.

    • The company's new product seemed too good to be true, and many people were skeptical that it wasn't a pig in a poke.

      This example illustrates how the idiom can be used to describe something that appears too perfect or too good to be true. It suggests that there may be hidden flaws or drawbacks that are not immediately apparent.

    • The politician's promises were too vague and lacked specific details, leaving many voters feeling like they were being sold a pig in a poke.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used to criticize someone who makes unrealistic or misleading claims. It highlights the importance of being transparent and honest in communication.

    • The job offer sounded great on paper, but after accepting it, the employee realized they had been sold a pig in a poke.

      This example demonstrates how the idiom can be used to describe a situation where expectations are not met. It underscores the importance of doing thorough research and due diligence before making a major decision or commitment.


    The idiom "a pig in a poke" is often used to caution against being deceived or tricked into something. It can also refer to taking a risk without fully understanding the potential consequences. In both cases, the underlying message is to be cautious and not blindly accept or trust something.

    Some possible uses of this idiom could include warning someone against purchasing a product without fully inspecting its quality or value, or advising against blindly agreeing to a deal or contract without fully understanding all the details. It can also be used to describe someone who is willing to take a risk without fully understanding the potential outcome.

    Origin of "A pig in a poke"

    The origins of this idiom can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when it was common for merchants to sell live animals in sacks or bags. To entice buyers, they would often claim that the bag contained a valuable animal, such as a pig, when in reality it may have been something of lesser value, like a cat. This practice of selling something without revealing its true nature or worth eventually led to the phrase "a pig in a poke."

    Over time, the idiom has evolved to encompass a broader meaning of being deceived or taking a risk without fully understanding the situation. It remains a cautionary phrase, reminding us to be careful and not fall for false promises or unknown risks.