Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pig n.

1. as an insult, based on negative stereotyping.

(a) [mid-16C; 19C+] a general insult denoting unpleasantness, esp. to one who is fat, ugly and/or greedy.

(b) [1920s–30s] (US horseracing) a slow or otherwise useless horse, not to be betted on.

(c) [1920s+] a fat, unattractive woman.

(d) [1920s+] (US campus) a woman considered to be drunken, promiscuous and sexually available (cf. pig meat ).

(e) [1950s–70s] (Can./US) a prostitute.

(f) [1960s+] (drugs) a greedy consumer of a given drug.

2. as an authority figure.

(a) [19C+] (orig. UK Und., also pigman, pigman cove, pigsman) a police officer; thus pigs, the police as a group; a watchman [Egan’s Grose (1823) suggests that a pig’s rooting for food is the image behind the trap n.1 (3) who ‘roots up’ the haunts of the prig n.1 (2)].

(b) [mid-19C–1940s] an informer.

(c) [1930s+] any conventional person, a member of the Establishment or authorities.

(d) [1970s+] a prison warder.

(e) [1980s] (US black) a white person.

3. [mid-19C-1920s] a sixpence [play on half-a-hog under hog n.].

4. [1900s] (UK und.) a prison (perhaps a specific nickname).

5. [20C+] a venereal ulcer.

6. a vehicle.

(a) [20C+] (US) a discontinued model of motorcar, a run-down, dilapidated motorcar, a car that looks good but has a small, low-powered engine; also attrib.

(b) [1930s] (US tramp) a railroad engine.

(c) [1950s+] (US black) a Cadillac.

7. [1910s] (US Und.) a hardware store; the goods it sells [joc. abbr. of SE pig iron].

8. [1920s] (US prison) any form of meat.

9. [1930s] (US Und.) a dollar.

10. [mid-19C-1930s] a hot water bottle.

11. [1960s+] anything considered difficult or exhausting to achieve.

12. [1980s+] (N.Z.) a flagon of beer.

13. see blind pig n.

In derivatives

pigmobile (n.)

[1970s+] a police car.

In compounds

pig brother (n.) [brother n. (2)]

[1960s+] (US black) any black who informs against their own people to the (white) police.

pig heaven (n.)

1. [1960s+] a fantasy paradise that would delight the gross rather than the fastidious.

2. [1970s+] (US black) a police station.

pigman (n.)

see sense 2a above.

pigpen (n.)

1. [20C+] (US) any dirty, unpleasant place.

2. [1970s] a police station.

pig wagon (n.)

1. [1990s] (Aus.) a mini-bus hired by a group of young men out for a night’s hedonism.

2. [1990s+] a police van.

In phrases

dance in the pig trough (v.)

see under dance v.

make a pig of oneself (v.) (also make a hog of oneself)

[1920s+] (orig. US) to act in a gluttonous manner, to be extremely greedy.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

pig-brained (adj.)

stupid, a general abusive epithet.

pig-eater (n.)

[19C] a general term of affection.

pigface (n.) [pigfaced ]

[1940s] a general term of abuse; the assumption is of ugliness.

pigfaced (adj.)

[1940s] an abusive epithet, describing an ugly person or used as an insult.

pig-fucker (n.) [fucker n. (3)]

[1930s+] (US) a worthless, very unpleasant person.

pig-fucking (adj.)

[1970s+] worthless, unpleasant.

pig iron (n.) [joc. use; note the low value of SE pig iron]

1. [late 18C] (US) an order of sausages.

2. [1920s] alcohol, often cheap and unpleasant .

3. [1980s+] (Irish) fun, devilment, amusement; usu. as for the pig-iron, for the fun of it.

pig-iron (adj.) [the low value of SE pig iron]

[1960s] terrible, useless, rubbish, a general negative.

pig-iron dump (n.)

[1920s] (US) a hardware store.

pig jump (v.)

[late 19C–1940s] (Aus.) of a horse, to jump with all four legs in the air at once; also as n.; ext. to a surprised human.

pig meat (n.) [meat n. (1)] (US black)

1. [1920s–30s] sexual intercourse.

2. [1920s+] a young woman, esp. an attractive one; a sexually attractive young man.

3. [1930s+] a promiscuous woman; a prostitute.

4. [1970s+] (US gay) an underage boy.

pig party (n.)

[1950s–80s] an orgy, a gang-rape.

pigpen Irish (n.) (also pig Irish)

[1910s–30s] (US) lower-class, poor Irish.

pig puncher (n.) [on pattern of cow-puncher n.]

[late 19C-1900s] (US) one who specialises in the farming or management of pigs .

pig root (v.) [SE pig-root, for a horse to buck violently with its hind legs]

[1900s–10s] (Aus.) to ride.

pig’s arse (n.)

see separate entry.

pig sconce (n.) [SE sconce, the head]

[mid-17C–19C] a stubborn fool, a ‘pig-headed’ person.

pig’s ear (n.)

see separate entry.

pig’s eye (n.)

1. [mid-19C] in cards, the ace of diamonds.

2. [late 19C] (also pig’s-eye-in-a-bottle) a term of abuse.

3. [1930s–50s] (Can.) the pig’s eye, something excellent, outstanding, first-rate.

pig’s foot (n.) [the forked end resembles a pig’s foot]

[mid-19C] (US Und.) a forked crowbar.

pig-sick (adj.)

[1960s+] furious, enraged; thus pig-sick of, infuriated by, incapable of tolerating.

pigskin (n.)

see separate entry.

pigsticker (n.)

see separate entry.

pigsticking (n.)

see separate entry.

pig strip (n.)

[1930s] (US) bacon.

pigstyle (adv.)

[1980s+] (US black) living in filthy circumstances.

pig sweat (n.) [20C+] (US)

1. beer.

2. inferior ‘rotgut’ bourbon.

pig’s whisper (n.)

see separate entry.

pig’s whistle (n.)

1. [mid-19C] a very short time.

2. [late 19C] (US) a barely audible tone of voice.

pigswill (n.)

[20C+] nonsense, rubbish; thus excl. pigswill! rubbish!

pigtail (n.)

see separate entry.

pig town (n.)

[1960s] (US) the slums.

In phrases

all around the pig’s arse there is pork

[1980s] (N.Z.) a phr. of resignation, acceptance.

an’t please the pigs

see separate entry.

drive (one’s) pigs to market/the pigs home (v.)

see under drive v.1

go to pigs and whistles (v.) [Scot. pigs and whistles, ‘a mass of foolish, inconvenient furniture or nick-nacks’ (EDD)]

1. [late 18C–mid-19C] (Scot.) to be ruined financially.

2. [mid-19C+] to fail, to collapse.

have boiled pig at home (v.) [according to Grose (1785), an allusion to a ‘well-known’ (but unspecified) poem and story]

[late 18C–early 19C] to be the master in one’s own home.

have pigs in one’s belly (v.)

[early 18C] to be incompetent.

in pig (adj.) [joc. use of SE, which refers only to swine]

[1940s+] pregnant.

is a pig’s pussy pork? (also is a pig’s ass pork?)

[1960s+] (US) the response to a question to which the answer is definitely in the affirmative.

keep pigs (v.)

[early-mid-19C] (UK prison) to deprive the weaker members of a group of their fair share of rations, permitting them only spoiled or left-over food.

like Goodyer’s pig [? anecdotal; the orig. use appears to have been in Cheshire]

[late 18C] constantly in or causing trouble.

on the pig

[late 19C] (US) in decline.

on the pig’s back (also on the pig’s ear) [trans. of Erse ar mhuin na muice, referring to an amulet shaped like a pig, supposedly a source of good luck]

[late 19C+] (Irish/Aus./N.Z.) living in luxury, living well, in good fortune; thus home on the pig’s back, very contented, happily or successfully placed, having arrived at a successful conclusion.

pig between the sheets (n.)

[1940s] (US) a ham sandwich.

pig in the mud (n.)

[late 19C] (US) a ham sandwich with mustard.

pig’s vest with buttons (n.)

[1930s] (US tramp) sow belly, or any fat bacon.

work the pig (v.) [? the pigskin used to make wallets]

[mid-19C] (Aus. Und.) to work as a pickpocket.

In exclamations

pig’s arse!

see separate entry.