US, late 1800s; popularized 1940s. The variant forms – live/eat and on/off – are attested since at least the 1930s.
- (idiomatic, US) Well off; living comfortably or extravagantly.
- Ever since his promotion, they’ve been living high on the hog.
- 1912, George S. Jack, Edward Boyle Jacobs, History of Roanoke County, p. 29:
- With all the tenderloin, spareribs and backbones, we lived “high off the hog”.
- 1927, Allegheny Regional Advisory Board, Proceedings of the regular meeting, p. 21:
- Down our way there is a favorite expression used quite often—“eating high on the hog”. That is what our competitors have been doing…
- 1934, Time, Volume 24, p. 68:
- The synthetic belle wins the prize and her creators are eating high off the hog until the nation’s Press demands a look at the original.
- Often used in the expressions “living high on the hog” and “eating high on the hog.”
- The opposite, “low on the hog”, is much more rarely used.