pigtail

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English[edit]

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A young girl with pigtails.

Etymology[edit]

From pig +‎ tail.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pigtail (plural pigtails)

  1. Tobacco twisted into a string or roll. [from 17th c.]
    • 1828, JT Smith, Nollekens and His Times, Century Hutchinson 1986, p. 265:
      One person [] continued constantly to ply him with the very best pig-tail tobacco, which he had most carefully cut in very small pieces purposely for him.
  2. A braided plait of hair; now especially, either of two braids or "tails" on the side of the head. [from 18th c.]
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, OCLC 1167497017:
      Such a filthy spectacle as we presented I have never seen before or since, and it will perhaps give some idea of the almost superhuman dignity of Billali's appearance when I say that, coughing, half-drowned, and covered with mud and green slime as he was, with his beautiful beard coming to a dripping point, like a Chinaman's freshly-oiled pig-tail, he still looked venerable and imposing.
    • 2000, Bill Oddie, Gripping Yarns, page 12:
      [I]t was something that every schoolboy of my generation almost `had' to do, as obligatory a proof of impending manliness as scrumping apples or pulling girls' pigtails.
  3. (informal) A person who wears a pigtail or queue.
    • [2021 October 26, Peter Baker, “The Case Against Winston Churchill”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      [] Chinese, whom he called “pigtails”; or Indians, whom he dismissed as “baboos.”]
  4. (electrical engineering) A short length of twisted electrical wire. [from 20th c.]
    Synonym: tail
  5. (botany) The flamingo flower.
  6. The tail of a pig.
  7. (medicine) Twisted stent terminal; stent-end, usually but not necessarily a different fastened part.

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • pigtail in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911