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What is the meaning of [You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear]

Dr Brewer had this to say: ‘You must have the necessary materials of
facilities before you can make or do what you are expected to … A sow’s ear
may somewhat resemble a purse, but it cannot be made into a purse.’ By
extension this means that you cannot change a person’s real character. All the
education in the world will not turn a vulgar, low-minded ruffian into a
gentleman, or a slattern into a lady.

##### See also:

* What can you expect from a hog but a grunt?