earth pig



Calque of Afrikaans aardvark (literally earth-pig), equivalent to earth +‎ pig.



earth pig (plural earth pigs)

  1. (rare, nonstandard) The aardvark.
    • 1881, Land, sea and sky; or, Wonders of life and nature:
      In the high grassy plateaus, with their isolated groups of bushy shrubs, we find, together with the earth pigs and armadilloes mentioned above, two kinds of gazelles (Cephalophus mergens and Calotragus campestris).
    • 1893, Frederick Courteney Selous, Travel and Adventure in South-East Africa:
      The curious ant-eaters (earth pigs and pangolins) are probably relics of an earlier fauna, which have survived owing to their nocturnal habits.
    • 1949, Harold Evans, Men in the Tropics: A Colonial Anthology, page 64:
      It may be in only an earth pig, or it may be in a leopard, and, quite providentially for the medical profession no layman can see his own soul — it is not as if it were connected with all earth pigs, or all leopards, as the case may be, but it is in one particular earth pig or leopard or other animal — so recourse must be had to medical aid when anything goes wrong with it.
    • 1959, Bertha Morris Parker, THE GOLDEN BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA:
      Aardvarks also eat ants. African natives kill aardvarks to eat. But these “earth pigs” are not easy to catch. Although they look clumsy, they can run fast. They can bury themselves in the ground fast, too.
    • 2012, Bonnie L. Hewlett, Adolescent Identity: Evolutionary, Cultural and Developmental Perspectives
      Bahuchet (1985), who researched the Aka living in Central Africa, cites the earth pig, flying squirrel, and leopard as examples of avoided food animals.

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