Soaped-pig Fashion

(In). Vague; a method of speaking or writing which always leaves a way of escape. The allusion is to the custom at fairs, etc., of soaping the tail of a pig before turning it out to be caught by the tail.

“He is vague as may be; writing in what is called the `soaped-pig' fashion.” —Carlyle: The Diamond Necklace, chap. iv.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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