Last modified on 16 October 2014, at 22:41
See also: PIG, P.I.G., and P. I. G.


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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English pigge (pig, pigling) (originally a term for a young pig, with adult pigs being swine), apparently from Old English *picga (attested only in compounds, such as picgbrēad (mast, pig-fodder)). Connection to early Dutch bigge (modern Dutch big (piglet)), West Frisian bigge (pigling), and similar terms in Middle Low German is sometimes proposed, "but the phonology is difficult"[1] and other sources say the words are "almost certainly not" related.[2]

British slang sense "police officer" from at least 1785.[3]



Domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domestica)

pig (plural pigs)

  1. Any of several mammalian species of the genus Sus, having cloven hooves, bristles and a nose adapted for digging; especially the domesticated farm animal Sus scrofa.
    The farmer kept a pen with two pigs that he fed from table scraps and field waste.
  2. (specifically) A young swine, a piglet.
  3. (uncountable) The edible meat of such an animal; pork.
    Some religions prohibit their adherents from eating pig.
  4. Someone who overeats or eats rapidly and noisily.
    You gluttonous pig! Now that you've eaten all the cupcakes, there will be none for the party!
  5. A nasty or disgusting person.
    She considered him a pig as he invariably stared at her bosom when they talked.
  6. 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.
  7. (now chiefly US, UK, Australia, derogatory, slang) A police officer. [From ante 1785.]
    The protester shouted, “Don't give in to the pigs!” as he was arrested.
    • 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.
  8. (informal) A difficult problem.
    Hrm...this one's a real pig: I've been banging my head against the wall over it for hours!
  9. (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.
  10. The mold in which a block of metal is cast.
    The pig was cracked, and molten metal was oozing from the side.
  11. (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.
  12. (pejorative) a person who is obese to the extent of resembling a pig (the animal)
  13. (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.
The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the template {{sense|"gloss"}}, substituting a short version of the definition for "gloss".
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
  • Abenaki: piks (from "pigs")
  • Malecite-Passamaquoddy: piks (from "pigs")


pig (third-person singular simple present pigs, present participle pigging, simple past and past participle pigged)

  1. (of swine) to give birth.
    The black sow pigged at seven this morning.
  2. (intransitive) To greedily consume (especially food).
    They were pigging on the free food at the bar.
    • 2009, Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice, Vintage 2010, p. 349:
      "Wow, Doc. That's heavy." Denis sat there pigging on the joint as usual.
  3. (intransitive) To huddle or lie together like pigs, in one bed.

Etymology 2Edit

Origin unknown. See piggin.


pig (plural pigs)

  1. (Scotland) earthenware, or an earthenware shard
  2. An earthenware hot-water jar to warm a bed; a stone bed warmer
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

Shortening of pigeon


pig (plural pigs)

  1. (UK) a pigeon.


  1. ^ A new English dictionary on historical principles
  2. ^ pig” in Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  3. ^ 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.


  • IPA(key): /piɡ/, [pʰiɡ̊]
  • Homophone: pik


pig c (singular definite piggen, plural indefinite pigge)

  1. spike
  2. barb
  3. spine (needle-like structure)
  4. quill (needle-like structure)
  5. prickle (a small, sharp pointed object, such as a thorn)




EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.


pig (plural pigs)

  1. pig
  2. pot, jar, earthenware

Derived termsEdit

Torres Strait CreoleEdit


From English pig.



  1. pig