Workmen's Slang and Terminology

1 terms


A police officer. A China street pig; a Bow-street officer. Floor the pig and bolt; knock down the officer and run away.
a policeman; an informer. The word is now almost exclusively applied by London thieves to a plain-clothes man, or a “nose.”
a pressman in a printing office. See donkey.
to live in a crowded, filthy manner. The lower orders of Irish are said to pig  together. A suggestive, if not elegant, expression.

n. An animal (Porcus omnivorus ) closely allied to the human race by the splendor and vivacity of its appetite, which, however, is inferior in scope, for it sticks at pig.

a mass of metal,—so called from its being poured in a fluid state from a sow , which see.—Workman's term.
Sixpence, a sow's baby. Pig-widgeon; a simpleton. To pig together; to lie or sleep together, two or more in a bed. Cold pig; a jocular punishment inflicted by the maid seryants, or other females of the house, on persons lying over long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes, and leaving them to pig or lie in the cold. To buy a pig in a poke; to purchase any thing without seeing. Pig's eyes; small eyes. Pigsnyes; the same: a vulgar term of endearment to a woman. He can have boiled pig at home; a mark of being master of his own house: an allusion to a well known poem and story. Brandy is Latin for pig and goose; an apology for drinking a dram after either.

The Sucking-Pig

T HE other day our children came home delighted at having seen a little pig drinking out of a bottle, just like a baby. I went to see it, and I was introduced to its owner, who lived in a cottage, the principal room of which was painted light blue. A good-natured old woman was there with her two orphan grand-children. The red tiles of the cottage floor were enlivened by a gray-and-white cat, and a shiny-skinned little pig, of about a month old, which was fed out of a feeding-bottle. This was the hero of the place.

The little pig is grateful for good treatment, and as capable of attachment as a horse or a dog. The pig is intelligent, and it can be taught tricks. Performing pigs are often the attractions of country fairs. I have seen pigs in the poor neighborhoods of London follow their masters through noisy streets, and into busy public-houses, where they laid down at their masters' feet like a dog.

Swine, Pig or Hog  (Sus ).—There are numerous varieties of the domestic pig. Some have erect and some pendent ears, and those are most esteemed which exhibit the greatest departure from the wild type, notably in shorter and less powerful limbs, less muscular and more rounded forms, wider ribs, and greater wealth of flesh.

The domestication of the pig is remotely ancient, having been established among the Chinese for some thousands of years. It was brought to America by the early colonists. However, it is only during the last two hundred years that the pig has reached its present highly modified state of domestication, and only during the last century has selective breeding been carried on to secure rapid growth and much fat.

The Chinese breed is renowned for its fertility. Its head is short and thick, ears erect, legs very short, chine high and broad, and jowl wide, belly hanging very near to the ground. As a rule it carries a small quantity of hair. The skin is usually dark, but the flesh is delicate and white. The Neapolitan breed is entirely black, with little hair, remarkably easy to fatten, but scarcely so robust in constitution or so prolific as the Chinese pig.

Swine are most profitably reared where corn and grass most abound; hence, they are found in America in largest numbers and highest development, the United States not infrequently having upwards of fifty per cent of the world's supply. In America the industry centers in the Mississippi valley, where Indian corn is grown in greatest abundance and at least expense, particularly in the states of Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kansas. These swine are mostly of the four breeds of the large or “lard” type, viz.: Poland-Chinas, and Berkshires, Duroc-Jerseys and Chester Whites, the Poland-Chinas predominating.


Berkshire.—Rather more than medium size. Snout of medium length, face dished. Ears nearly erect, well carried. Jowl heavy. Neck short with considerable crest. Shoulder, back and rump of good width. Body deep. Ham thickly meated, strong constitution. Color black with a white mark on face. White on each foot and on tip of tail.

Cheshire.—Medium size. Body has good length. Shoulders and hams well developed. Face slightly dished. Ear small and erect. Bone fine and of fair quality. Color white. Black spots often occur on skin.

Chester-White.—Medium size, face straight or very slightly dished. Ear droops and is somewhat loosely attached to head. Color white, hair in many specimens wavy or curly. Neck wide, deep and short. Jowl smooth, neat and firm. Shoulders broad, deep and full. Chest large, deep, full in girth. Sides full, smooth, deep; ham broad, full, long, wide and deep. Back broad on top, straight or slightly arched, legs short and straight. Coat fine. Weight of boars two years old 500 pounds, sows 450 pounds.

Duroc-Jersey.—Medium size, fine bone. Snout medium length, face slightly dished, ear drooped, jowl heavy, body wide and deep set on short legs. Ham heavily fleshed. Cherry red the popular color, but yellowish red and chestnut are often seen. Weight of boars two years old 600 pounds, sows 500 pounds.

Hampshire  or Thin-rind Swine.—Medium size, face straight, ear inclined forward, but does not droop. Jowl light, as is also shoulder and ham. Back of medium width. Legs of medium length and bone of good quality. Color black extremities with a white belt four to twelve inches wide encircling body and including fore-legs, which should also be white. Weight, boars two years old 450 pounds, sows 400 pounds.

Large Yorkshire.—One of the largest breeds. Snout of medium length, with little or no dish. Moderate dish in face. Jowl of good width and muscular. Ears rather large, firmly attached, fringed with fine hair. Shoulders and back of medium width. Side long. Ham lighter than that of lard type with flesh carried well round inside of thigh. Legs medium length. Bone fairly heavy, clean and flinty. Color, white.

Poland-China.—Medium size. Face slightly dished. Jowl full and heavy. Ears fine, firmly attached; about one-third of ear droops. Neck short, thick and heavily arched on top. Shoulder heavy. Side short. Back wide. Ham very wide and deep. Legs short, bone fine. Black with six white points on face, feet and tip of tail. Weight of boars two years old 600 pounds, sows 500 pounds.

Tamworth.—Should have golden-red hair on a flesh-colored skin, free from black. Snout long and straight. Ear large. Jowl narrow and light. Neck and shoulder are light; back and loin of medium width, side of good length, moderately deep. Rather deficient in ham. Legs long and strong.

or sow's baby , a sixpence.