Don't cast your pearls before swine


      • warning
        To caution someone against sharing valuable information or resources with those who will not appreciate or understand their worth, as it will be wasted and unappreciated

      • futility
        To suggest that any effort or sacrifice put into a certain endeavor will be in vain, as it will not be appreciated or valued by those it is intended for

    Examples of Don't cast your pearls before swine

    • The marketing team presented their latest marketing campaign to the CEO, but he dismissed it as too risky. We shouldn't waste our ideas on him; let's not cast our pearls before swine.

      Here, swine refers to someone who is unreasonable, foolish, or uncultured. Therefore, it's a waste to present valuable ideas to such a person as they won't appreciate or make useful of it. So, we should avoid presenting our pearls, our most valuable ideas or possessions, to someone like that.

    • Emily's friend Susan invited her to a party full of rude and uninviting people. Emily was hesitant to go, but she wanted to make Susan's friendship stronger. Emily thought to herself, "I don't want to waste my time or energy on such people. I won't cast my pearls before swine."

      Here, the phrase 'cast our pearls before swine' means to present valuable things, such as our best efforts, to people who do not appreciate or respect them. Emily sensed that the people at the party wouldn't value her pearls, her best efforts, so she decided not to waste her time and energy on them.

    • The speaker at the conference presented their new business idea, but the audience was too skeptical to consider it. The speaker felt disheartened and thought to themselves, "I won't cast my pearls before swine again. I'll save my ideas for more receptive audiences."

      Here, the word 'swine' is used figuratively to mean 'unwelcoming people'. The speaker presented their ideas to an audience that was not receptive to them, and they felt that it wasn't worth their time and effort. So, they decided not to waste their valuable ideas on people who wouldn't appreciate them.

    • Caroline managed a team of employees, but she found that some of them were too lazy and incompetent to be productive. Caroline didn't want to waste her resources, such as her time and energy, on such employees. She thought to herself, "I won't cast my pearls before swine. I'll focus my efforts on the employees who can produce results."

      Here, the phrase 'cast our pearls before swine' refers to the fact that we should focus our efforts, such as our time, energy, and resources, on people who can help us achieve our goals, rather than wasting them on people who aren't receptive or productive. Caroline realized that some of her employees were swine and decided to focus her efforts on the ones who were more productive.

    • The marketing manager knew that presenting the company's latest product line to the board would be an uphill battle. Some of the executives were resistant to change, and some just didn't see the value in the innovative ideas. She didn't want to waste her energy and resources trying to convert these skeptics. So she said, "I'm not going to 'cast my pearls before swine.' I'll focus my efforts on the board members who are more receptive to new ideas and can appreciate the value of our products."

      In this example, the use of the idiom "don't cast your pearls before swine" means that the marketing manager doesn't want to present her valuable ideas and resources to people who are unlikely to appreciate or value them. She's being selective in how she spends her time and energy, and is only focused on those who are more receptive to her ideas.

    • In the game of corporate politics, it can be tempting to try to influence or persuade everyone in the room. But sometimes you need to be strategic and prioritize your efforts. The CEO told his team, "We have limited resources and time. Let's not 'cast our pearls before swine.' Let's focus on the people who are most important to the success of this project and allocate our resources accordingly."

      In this example, the CEO is using the idiom to encourage his team to be strategic and prioritize their efforts. They don't want to waste their valuable resources and time trying to convert uninterested or resistant individuals. They're being selective in how they allocate their resources and are focusing on the people who are most important to the success of their project.

    • The organization had invested a lot of resources into a new initiative, but they weren't getting the results they hoped for. Some people within the organization were questioning the value of the initiative and calling for it to be shut down. The project manager didn't want to waste any more resources on a losing cause. She said, "I won't 'cast my pearls before swine.' I believe in this initiative, but we need to be strategic and focus our resources on the areas that are showing the most promise. Let's not throw good money after bad."

      In this example, the project manager is using the idiom to communicate her decision to be strategic and focus resources where they will have the most impact. She's acknowledging that there are skeptics within the organization, but she's not wasting any more resources trying to convert them. Instead, she's being selective in how she allocates resources and is focusing on the areas that have the most promise.


    This idiom is often used in situations where someone is being warned against giving their time, effort, or resources to someone who will not appreciate or understand their value. It can also be used to express frustration or resignation when one's efforts are not being recognized or appreciated.

    Some possible scenarios where this idiom could be used include:

    • A teacher advising a student not to waste their knowledge and insights on classmates who are not interested in learning.
    • A mentor cautioning their mentee against sharing their business ideas with people who are not serious about entrepreneurship.
    • A friend warning another friend not to lend money to someone who has a history of not repaying debts.

    Origin of "Don't cast your pearls before swine"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the Bible, specifically in Matthew 7:6 where it states, "Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you." This biblical reference is often interpreted as a caution against sharing valuable or sacred information with those who will not appreciate or understand it.

    Over time, this phrase has evolved to refer to any situation where one should not waste their resources or efforts on someone who will not appreciate or understand them. The use of "pearls" in this idiom is symbolic of something of great value, while "swine" refers to those who are unappreciative or unworthy. The image of casting pearls before swine paints a vivid picture of wasted efforts and resources, further emphasizing the futility of the action.