From Middle English pigge (“pig, pigling”) (originally a term for a young pig, with adult pigs being swyn), apparently from Old English *picga (attested only in compounds, such as picgbrēad (“mast, pig-fodder”)), from Proto-West Germanic *piggō, *puggō (“piglet”). Compare Middle Dutch pogge, puggen, pigge, pegsken (“pigling”), Middle Low German pugge, pûke (“piglet”). The word applied to an immature animal rapidly gaining weight, so it probably derives from the verb "to big" (build, increase), from Middle English biggen, byggen, from Old Norse byggja, byggva (“to build”), from Proto-Germanic *būwijaną (“to build”), from PIE *bʰuH- (“to become, to grow”). Pokorny suggests this root might be somehow related to *bū-, *bew- (“to blow; swell”), which could account for the alternation between "pig" and "big".
A connection to early modern Dutch bigge (contemporary big (“piglet”)), West Frisian bigge (“pigling”), and similar terms in Middle Low German is sometimes proposed, "but the phonology is difficult". Some sources say the words are "almost certainly not" related, others consider a relation "probable, but not certain".
The slang sense of "police officer" is attested since at least 1785.
pig (countable and uncountable, plural pigs)
- Any of several mammalian species of the genus Sus, having cloven hooves, bristles and a nose adapted for digging; especially the domesticated animal Sus domesticus.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:pig
- The man kept a pen with two pigs that he fed everything from carrots to cabbage.
- 1855, Charles Kingsley, “How Salvation Yeo Slew the King of the Gubbings”, in Westward Ho!: Or, The Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, […], volume II, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan & Co., →OCLC, page 113:
- […] and at the back a rambling courtledge of barns and walls, around which pigs and bare-foot children grunted in loving communion of dirt.
- (specifically) A young swine, a piglet (contrasted with a hog, an adult swine).
- 2005 April, Live Swine from Canada, Investigation No. 731-TA-1076 (Final), publication 3766, April 2005, U.S. International Trade Commission, →ISBN, pages I-9:
- Weanlings grow into feeder pigs, and feeder pigs grow into slaughter hogs. […] Ultimately the end use for virtually all pigs and hogs is to be slaughtered for the production of pork and other products.
- (uncountable) The edible meat of such an animal; pork.
- Some religions prohibit their adherents from eating pig.
- (uncountable) A light pinkish-red colour, like that of a pig (also called pig pink).
- 2019, Bee Smith, Queen Bee's Party:
- So far on the streets there's been a lot of metallic pink (the kind of pink as in the shade of pig you get, and this is exactly the shade of the diary I've been writing in) […]
- (derogatory, slang) Someone who overeats or eats rapidly and noisily.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:glutton
- You gluttonous pig! Now that you've eaten all the cupcakes, there will be none for the party!
- (derogatory, slang) A lecherous or sexist man.
- She considered him a pig as he invariably stared at her bosom when they talked.
- (derogatory, slang) A dirty or slovenly person.
- He was a pig and his apartment a pigpen; take-away containers and pizza boxes in a long, moldy stream lined his counter tops.
- (derogatory) A very obese person.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:fat person
- (now chiefly US, UK, Australia, derogatory, slang) A police officer. [From ante 1785.]
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:police officer
- The protester shouted, “Don't give in to the pigs!” as he was arrested.
- 1971, Gil Scott-Heron (lyrics and music), “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”:
- There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay
- 1989, Dan Simmons, Carrion Comfort, page 359:
- “...Sounds too easy,” Marvin was saying. “What about the pigs?”
He meant police.
- 1990, Jay Robert Nash, Encyclopedia of World Crime: Volume 1: A-C, page 198:
- The bank robberies went on and each raid became more bloody, Meinhof encouraging her followers to “kill the pigs” offering the slightest resistance, referring to policemen.
- 2008, Frank Kusch, Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention, page 63:
- Backing 300 of the more aggressive protesters was a supporting cast of several thousand more who stared down the small line of police. Those in front resumed their taunts of “Pig, pig, fascist pig,” and “pigs eat shit, pigs eat shit.” The rest of the crowd, however, backed off and sat down on the grass when reinforcements arrived. Police did not retaliate for the name-calling, and within minutes the line of demonstrators broke apart and the incident was over without violence.113
- 2011, T. J. English, The Savage City: Race, Murder and a Generation on the Edge, unnumbered page:
- But me, I joined the party to fight the pigs. That′s why I joined. Because my experience with the police was always negative.
- 2017, “All This”, performed by Mayhem (Uptop):
- Got a mind for the undies
I'm tryna stay far from the pigs
- (informal) A difficult problem.
- Hrm... this one's a real pig: I've been banging my head against the wall over it for hours!
- (countable and uncountable) A block of cast metal.
- The conveyor carried the pigs from the smelter to the freight cars.
- After the ill-advised trade, the investor was stuck with worthless options for 10,000 tons of iron pig.
- The mold in which a block of metal is cast.
- The pig was cracked, and molten metal was oozing from the side.
- A lead container used for radioactive waste.
- 2015, Tom Clynes, The Boy Who Played with Fusion, page 36:
- Taylor also bought a pig—a radiation-shielding container made of thick lead—to stash the most radioactive materials in.
- 2015, Adrianne Dill Linton, Introduction to Medical-Surgical Nursing, page 394:
- Forceps and a lead container (called a pig) that are routinely placed in the room are used to retrieve and contain the source.
- (engineering) A device for cleaning or inspecting the inside of an oil or gas pipeline, or for separating different substances within the pipeline. Named for the pig-like squealing noise made by their progress.
- Unfortunately, the pig sent to clear the obstruction got lodged in a tight bend, adding to the problem.
- (US, military, slang) The general-purpose M60 machine gun, considered to be heavy and bulky.
- Unfortunately, the M60 is about twenty-four pounds and is very unbalanced. You try carrying the pig around the jungle and see how you feel.
- (uncountable) A simple dice game in which players roll the dice as many times as they like, either accumulating a greater score or losing previous points gained.
- (UK, slang, obsolete) A sixpence.
- Synonym: sow's baby
- blind pig
- bush pig
- dish pig
- eat like a pig
- flying pig
- guinea pig
- happy as a pig in shit
- hell pig
- if pigs had wings
- in a pig's eye
- pig bed
- pig board
- piggy bank
- pig in a blanket
- pig in a poke
- pig iron
- pig it
- pig Latin
- pig lead
- pig out
- pigs may fly
- pig upon bacon
- pig upon pork
- potbellied pig
- slam pig
- suckling pig
- sweat like a pig
- terminator pig
- when pigs fly
- whistle pig
- year of the pig
- Torres Strait Creole: pig
- Tok Pisin: pik
- → Abenaki: piks (from "pigs")
- → Malecite-Passamaquoddy: piks (from "pigs")
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
pig (third-person singular simple present pigs, present participle pigging, simple past and past participle pigged)
- (of swine) To give birth.
- The black sow pigged at seven this morning.
- (intransitive) To greedily consume (especially food).
- They were pigging on the free food at the bar.
- 2009, Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice, Vintage, published 2010, page 349:
- "Wow, Doc. That's heavy." Denis sat there pigging on the joint as usual.
- (intransitive) To huddle or lie together like pigs, in one bed.
- (intransitive) To live together in a crowded filthy manner.
- (transitive, engineering) To clean (a pipeline) using a pig (the device).
Unknown. See piggin.
pig (plural pigs)
- (Scotland) earthenware, or an earthenware shard
- An earthenware hot-water jar to warm a bed; a stone bed warmer
- ^ A new English dictionary on historical principles
- ^ “pig”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
- ^ M. Philippa: "Big". In: Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, 2003-09.
- ^ 2003, Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, Nina M. Hyams, An Introduction to Language, page 474 — Similarly, the use of the word pig for “policeman” goes back at least as far as 1785, when a writer of the time called a Bow Street police officer a “China Street pig.”
From Old Norse pík, from Proto-Germanic *pīkaz, *pikkaz, cognate with English pike. Doublet of pik.
pig c (singular definite piggen, plural indefinite pigge)
- spine, quill (needle-like structure)
- prickle (a small, sharp pointed object, such as a thorn)
From Middle English pigge, pygge, from Old English *picga (“pig; pigling”), see English pig.
Sense of "vessel; jar" is from Middle English pygg, perhaps an extension of the above.
pig (plural pigs)
- pot, jar, earthenware
Torres Strait Creole
Possibly from Middle English pyke (“pike, sharp point”). Cognate with Breton beg.
pig f (plural pigau)
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.|
R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “pig”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies
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