E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The feast of St. Martin is November 11. His Martinmas will come, as it does to every hogi.e. all must die.
November was the great slaughter-time of the Anglo-Saxons, when beeves, sheep, and hogs, whose store of food was exhausted, were killed and salted. Martinmas, therefore, was the slaying time, and the proverb intimates that our slaying-time or day of death will come as surely as that of a hog at St. Martins-tide.