1. a young swine of either sex, especially a domestic hog, Sus scrofa, weighing less than 120 pounds (220 kg)
  2. any wild or domestic swine.
  3. the flesh of swine; pork.
  4. Informal. a person of piggish character, behavior, or habits, as one who is gluttonous, very fat, greedy, selfish, or filthy.
  5. Slang. an immoral woman; prostitute.
  6. Slang: Disparaging. a police officer.
  7. Slang. an extremely rude, ill-mannered person, especially one who is sexist or racist.
  8. Machinery. any tool or device, as a long-handled brush or scraper, used to clear the interior of a pipe or duct.
  9. Metallurgy.
    1. an oblong mass of metal that has been run while still molten into a mold of sand or the like, especially such a mass of iron from a blast furnace.
    2. one of the molds for such masses of metal.
    3. metal in the form of such masses.
    4. pig iron.
verb (used with object), pigged, pig·ging.
  1. to mold (metal) into pigs.
  2. Informal. to eat (something) quickly; gulp: He pigged three doughnuts and ran off to school.
verb (used without object), pigged, pig·ging.
  1. to bring forth pigs; farrow.
Verb Phrases
  1. pig out, Slang. to overindulge in eating: We pigged out on pizza last night.
  1. on the pig's back, Australian Slang. in a fortunate position.
  2. pig it,
    1. to live like a pig, especially in dirt.
    2. to lead a disorganized, makeshift life; live without plan or pattern.

Origin of pig

1175–1225; Middle English pigge young pig, with doubled consonant appropriate to terms for smaller animals (cf. dog, frog1) but with no obvious relations; almost certainly not akin to Low German, Dutch big(ge), Middle Dutch vigghe young pig, which involve further obscurities; if Danish pige, Swedish piga maid, young girl are compared, perhaps < ON word meaning “young, small,” applied in Scand to girls but in OE to swine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for pig it


  1. any artiodactyl mammal of the African and Eurasian family Suidae, esp Sus scrofa (domestic pig), typically having a long head with a movable snout, a thick bristle-covered skin, and, in wild species, long curved tusks
  2. a domesticated pig weighing more than 120 pounds (54 kg)Related adjective: porcine
  3. informal a dirty, greedy, or bad-mannered person
  4. the meat of swine; pork
  5. derogatory a slang word for policeman
    1. a mass of metal, such as iron, copper, or lead, cast into a simple shape for ease of storing or transportation
    2. a mould in which such a mass of metal is formed
  6. British informal something that is difficult or unpleasant
  7. an automated device propelled through a duct or pipeline to clear impediments or check for faults, leaks, etc
  8. a pig in a poke something bought or received without prior sight or knowledge
  9. make a pig of oneself informal to overindulge oneself
  10. on the pig's back Irish and NZ successful; establishedhe's on the pig's back now
verb pigs, pigging or pigged
  1. (intr) (of a sow) to give birth
  2. Also: pig it (intr) informal to live in squalor
  3. (tr) informal to devour (food) greedily
See also pig out

Word Origin for pig

C13 pigge, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pig it



probably from Old English *picg, found in compounds, ultimate origin unknown. Originally "young pig" (the word for adults was swine). Apparently related to Low German bigge, Dutch big ("but the phonology is difficult" -- OED). The meaning "oblong piece of metal" is first attested 1580s, on the notion of "large mass." Applied to persons, usually in contempt, since 1540s; the derogatory slang meaning "police officer" has been in underworld slang since at least 1811.

The pigs frisked my panney, and nailed my screws; the officers searched my house, and seized my picklock keys. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Another Old English word for "pig" was fearh, related to furh "furrow," from PIE *perk- "dig, furrow" (cf. Latin porc-us "pig," see pork). "This reflects a widespread IE tendency to name animals from typical attributes or activities" [Lass]. Synonyms grunter, porker are from sailors' and fishermen's euphemistic avoidance of uttering the word pig at sea, a superstition perhaps based on the fate of the Gadarene swine, who drowned. The image of a pig in a poke is attested from 1520s (see poke (n.3)). Flying pigs as a type of something unreal is from 1610s.



1670s, "to huddle together," from pig (n.). Related: Pigged; pigging. To pig out "eat voraciously" attested by 1979.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pig it

pig it

Live in a slovenly way, as in Ten roommates shared that small house, and as you might guess they were pigging it. [Slang; late 1800s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with pig

  • pig in a poke
  • pig it
  • pig out

also see:

  • in a pig's eye
  • like pigs in clover
  • make a pig of oneself
  • when pigs fly
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.