"Everything but the squeal” is a term used at hog packing houses to indicate that almost nothing of the animal goes to waste. The term dates from about the 1860s and is still used. A longer phrase is: “From the snout to the tail—everything but the squeal.” An addition to the phrase is: “Everything but the squeal of the hog and the bellow of the ox.”
“Everything but the oink” is a similar, slightly-less-popular phrase that is cited in print since the 1960s.
29 January 1864, Janesville (WI) Weekly Gazette, “Dressed Hogs at Dubuque,” pg. 6, col. 6:
At present prices farmers are disposing of everything that can squeal.
The Adventures of Big-Foot Wallace,
The Texas Ranger and Hunter
By John C. Duval
Philadelphia, PA: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger
Everything that went in at one side comes out at the other in some shape — except the “squeal.”
30 August 1871, Indiana (PA) Progress, “Communipaw Cattle Yards,” pg. 6, col. 4:
“We save everything of the hog, from the snout to the tail—everything but the squeal, and would save that but for the stamp we should have put upon it.”
30 November 1889, Daily Herald (MS), “A Southerner’s Trip,” pg. 3:
After apssing through all the departments of that establishment (G. Armour & Co.—ed.) we repaired to the hotel and partook of a fine dinner, then visited the vast fertiliing department where they utilize everything but the squeal of the hog and the bellow of the ox—all goes into chemical fertilizer to be taken back by the educated agriculturist and horticulturist to replace that which is taken from the earth by the industry of man.
8 January 1892, Chicago (IL) Inter Ocean, second part, pg. 12:
...packers there can not compete with Western packers and refrigerator men who have the business down so fine that they utilize everything but the squeal.
30 August 1904, Logansport (IN) Reporter, pg. 4, col. 7:
In American packing houses it is a proverbial saying that everything is saved except the squeal of the sacrificial porker.
By Upton Sinclair
Published by Kessinger Publishing
2005 (Originally published 1905)
“They don’t waste anything here,” said the guide, and then he laughed and added a witticism, which he was pleased that his unsophisticated friends should take to be his own: “They use everything about the hog except the squeal.”
6 September 1909, Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times, pg. 16:
The hog was “just a hawg” in 1896. Now he can give a royal grunt, for he is worth nearly THREE TIMES as much as he was then, even before the squeal was taken out of him by the heartiess stockyard folks in CHicago. That is all they leave out of the hog, you know, when they get through with him. Everything but the squeal is turned into money.
6 March 1910, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. 5:
One fact seems to stand out clearly in the tabulated statement, namely, that the packers could not afford to quote the wholesale prices they now make for dressed meat were it not for the machinelike organization of the packing business and the utilization for gain of “everything but the squeal or the bellow.”
7 December 1910, Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times, pg. 8:
Mike Cudahy, pork packer, is dead. Did the undertaker carry out Mike’s policies in saving everything but the squeal?
9 February 1911, Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. 9:
“We will make ham, bacon, lard, sausage, head cheese and scrapple,” he announced to his admiring family, and use everything but the squeal.
31 July 1911, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. 8:
A Western Senator says that the high cost of living is due largely to waste. The very idea, when it is well known that they are now able to utilize everything but the squeal.
14 September 1913, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Hog Page— Packers’ Profits— Utility of All Parts of Carcass Necessary,” part two, pg. 30:
The only thing that goes to the sewer nowadays is the water used in washing floors; even this is thoroughly skimmed for grease, so we literally save “everything but the squeal.”
Everything But the Squeal:
A Simeon Grist Suspense Novel
By Timothy Hallinan
Published by Penguin Group (Canada)
Everything But the Squeal:
Eating the Whole Hog in Northern Spain
By John Barlow
New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Atlantic Food Channel
Apr 1 2009, 8:18 am by Graeme Wood
Pork Knuckle, German Delight
Will pork knuckle start appearing on American plates? Butchers famously brag about their ability to use every part of the pig ("snout to tail, everything but the squeal,” in the too-precise slogan).
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 02, 2009 • Permalink