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”)). Compare Middle Dutch Middle Dutch pogge, puggen, pegsken (“pigling”).
A connection to early modern Dutch bigge (contemporary big (“piglet”)), West Frisian bigge (“pigling”), and similar terms in Middle Low German is sometimes proposed, "but the phonology is difficult". Some sources say the words are "almost certainly not" related, others consider a relation "probable, but not certain".
The slang sense of "police officer" is attested since at least 1785.
pig (plural pigs)
- Any of several intelligent mammalian species of the genus Sus, having cloven hooves, bristles and a nose adapted for digging; especially the domesticated animal Sus scrofa.
- A light pinkish-red colour, like that of a pig (also called pig pink).
- (specifically) A young swine, a piglet (contrasted with a hog, an adult swine).
- (uncountable) The edible meat of such an animal; pork.
- Someone who overeats or eats rapidly and noisily.
- A lecherous or sexist man.
- A dirty or slovenly person.
- (now chiefly US, Britain, Australia, derogatory, slang) A police officer. [From ante 1785.]
- (informal) A difficult problem.
- (countable and uncountable) A block of cast metal.
- The mold in which a block of metal is cast.
- (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.
- (derogatory) A person who is obese to the extent of resembling a pig (the animal).
- (US, military, slang) The general-purpose M60 machine gun, considered to be heavy and bulky.
- (uncountable) A simple dice game in which players roll the dice as many times as they like, either accumulating a greater score or losing previous points gained.
pig (third-person singular simple present pigs, present participle pigging, simple past and past participle pigged)
- (of swine) to give birth.
- (intransitive) To greedily consume (especially food).
- (intransitive) To huddle or lie together like pigs, in one bed.
- (transitive, engineering) To clean (a pipeline) using a pig (the device).
Origin unknown. See piggin.
pig (plural pigs)
- (Scotland) earthenware, or an earthenware shard
- An earthenware hot-water jar to warm a bed; a stone bed warmer