- 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.
- one of the molds for such masses of metal.
- metal in the form of such masses.
- pig iron.
verb (used with object), pigged, pig·ging.
verb (used without object), pigged, pig·ging.
- to live like a pig, especially in dirt.
- to lead a disorganized, makeshift life; live without plan or pattern.
Origin of pig1
noun Scot. and North England.
Origin of pig2
Examples from the Web for pigs
Contemporary Examples of pigs
In 1999, pigs began falling ill near the town of Nipah in Malaysia, and humans shortly followed.Bats’ Link to Ebola Finally Solved
November 12, 2014
With the exception of the Bay of Pigs, the agency has succeeded repeatedly, sometimes spectacularly.The CIA’s Wrong: Arming Rebels Works
October 19, 2014
A virus called PEDv is killing 100,000 pigs and piglets each week, and shows no signs of stopping.
Since no pigs are immune to PEDv, the virus has spread quickly, with high death rates in its path.
Farmers have begun limiting access to their farms and pigs to prevent virus importation.
Historical Examples of pigs
"He could have lived on the skimmed milk we feed to the pigs," thought Martin.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
"You'd better give the pigs some shorts," said Amanda, abruptly.Meadow Grass
Look at musicians—what a divine art, and what pigs of high priests!The Incomplete Amorist
Moreover they loved ear-rings, which were sometimes made of the teeth of pigs.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
Nature is as plain as one of her pigs, as commonplace, as comic, and as healthy.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
- a mass of metal, such as iron, copper, or lead, cast into a simple shape for ease of storing or transportation
- a mould in which such a mass of metal is formed
verb pigs, pigging or pigged
Word Origin for pig
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with pig
- pig in a poke
- pig it
- pig out
- in a pig's eye
- like pigs in clover
- make a pig of oneself
- when pigs fly