Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Sow (to rhyme with “now”).

 Sovereign.Spa or Spa Water. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Sow (to rhyme with “now”).
 
You have got the wrong sow by the ear. Sow is a large tub with two ears or handles; it is used for pickling or sowsing. The expression means, therefore, You have got hold of the wrong vessel, or, as the Latin phrase has it, “Pro am’phorâ ur’ceus” (You have brought me the little jug instead of the great gotch). French, seau (a bucket).   1
   You have got the right sow by the ear. You have hit upon the very thing.   2
   Sow. (See PIG IRON.)   3
 


 Sovereign.Spa or Spa Water. 

 
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