Where did the phrase sweat like a pig come from?

The phrase "sweating like a pig" actually has nothing to do with the animal that you might find on a farm. Instead, it refers to iron "sows" and "piglets" made when smelting pig iron. In traditional iron smelting, liquid iron is poured into a mold shaped like one long line with many smaller lines branching off of it at right angles. This looks similar to piglets feeding from their mother, so these pieces became known as pigs. After the pigs are poured into the sand, they cool, causing the surrounding air to reach its dew point and turn into moisture on the pigs, like they are sweating. When the pig is sweating, it's cool enough to be moved.