Pig to Pigsney

Pig In the forefeet of pigs is a very small hole, which may be seen when the hair has been carefully removed. The tradition is that the legion of devils entered by these apertures. There are also round it some six rings, the whole together not larger than a small spangle; they look as if burnt or branded into the skin, and the tradition is that they are the marks of the devil's claws when he entered the swine (Mark v. 11-15). (See Christian Traditions .)
   Riding on a pig. It was Jane, afterwards Duchess of Gordon, who, in 1770, undertook for a wager to ride down the High Street of Edinburgh, in broad day-light, on the back of a pig, and she won her bet.
   Some men there are love not a gaping pig (Merchant of Venice, iv. 1). Marshal d'Albert always fainted at the sight of a roast sucking pig. (See Antipathy, Cat.)
   The same is said of Vaugheim, the renowned Hanoverian huntsman. Keller used to faint at the sight of smoked bacon.

Pig-back, Picka-back, or a-Pigger-back, does not mean as a pig is carried by a butcher, but as a piga or child is carried. It should be written apiggaback. A butcher carries a pig head downwards, with its legs over his shoulders; but a child is carried with its arms round your neck, and legs under your arms.

“She carries the other a pickapack upon her shoulders.”- L'Estrange.
Pig-eyes Very small black eyes, like those of a pig. Southey says, “Those eyes have taught the lover flattery.” The ace of diamonds is called “a pig's eye.”

Pig Hunt (A). A village sport, in which a certain number of persons blindfolded hunt a small pig confined by hurdles within a limited space. The winner, having caught the pig, tucks it under his arm, and keeps it as his prize.

Pig-iron This is a mere play upon the word sow. When iron is melted it runs off into a channel called a sow, the lateral branches of which are called the pigs; here the iron cools, and is called pig-iron.

Pig and Tinderbox The Elephant and Castle.

Pig and Whistle The bowl and wassail, or the wassail-cup and wassail. A piggen is a pail, especially a milk-pail; and a pig is a small bowl, cup, or mug, making “milk and wassail;” similar to the modern sign of Jug and Glass- i.e. beer and wine. Thus a crockery-dealer is called a pig-wife.

Pig in a Poke (A). A blind bargain. The French say Acheter chat en poche. The reference is to a common trick in days gone by of substituting a cat for a sucking-pig, and trying to palm it off on greenhorns. If anyone heedlessly bought the article without examination he bought a “cat” for a “pig;” but if he opened the sack he “let the cat out of the bag,” and the trick was disclosed. The French chat en poche refers to the fact, while our proverb regards the trick. Pocket is diminutive of poke.

Pigs (See Bartholomew Pigs.)
   He has brought his pigs to a pretty market. He has made a very bad bargain; he has managed his business in a very bad way. Pigs were the chief articles of sale with our Saxon herdsmen, and till recently the village cottager looked to pay his rent by the sale of his pigs.
   He follows me about like an Anthony pig, or such and such a one is a Tantony pig; meaning a beggar, a hanger on. Stow says that the officers of the market used to slit the ears of pigs unfit for food. One day one of the proctors of St. Anthony's Hospital tied a bell about a pig whose ear was slit, and no one would ever hurt it. The pig would follow like a dog anyone who fed it.
   Please the pigs. If the Virgin permits. (Saxon, piga, a virgin.) In the Danish New Testament “maiden” is generally rendered pigen. “Pig Cross,” dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is Virgin Cross, or the Lady Cross. So also “Pig's Hill,” “Pig's Ditch,” in some instances at least, are the field and diggin' attached to the Lady's Chapel, though in others they are simply the hill and ditch where pigs were offered for sale. Another etymology is Please the pixies (fairies), a saying still common in Devonshire.
   It is somewhat remarkable that pige should be Norse for maiden, and hog or og Gaelic for young generally. Thus ogan (a young man), and goie (a young woman).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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