Glossary of Porcine Terms


The following lexicon is intended to provide the reader with easy access to Piggy and its context. To preserve something of the effluvia of pig-related idioms contemporary with Buchanan, and to avoid introducing anachronistic definitions, I have drawn on nineteenth-century dictionaries of farming terms in compiling this glossary. I have not included every porcine term in Piggy (for instance “spare ribs” is omitted because still in common usage), and I have defined a few words not in Piggy, in order to give the reader a sense of its agricultural and academic context. Not all the meanings given here are exactly those carried by the terms in Piggy and its historical context: Buchanan uses some of these words, such as “lard,” “porker” and “the” metaphorically; and she sometimes invests her pigs with unusual properties, such as the pig’s ability to help with mortgages but not with RRSPs or successful SSHRCC proposals.

albacore A young pig.

Anthony, Saint The patron saint of swineherds, to whom one of each litter was usually vowed. “‘What is an Anthony?’....’The littlest pig, your honour. The little pig is always Anthony’.”—Standard (1867). See funds, transfer.

bacon The back sides of the pig, ‘cured’ by salting, drying, etc. or the carcase of a pig; rarely a live pig. “‘Mmm...makin’ bacon on the beach...!’”—Groening (1993). See tenure.

baconer A pig fit for being made into bacon. See appointment, part-time.

barrow A male pig.

Berkshire An English county, applied to a breed of pig.

boar A wild species of pig (susscrofa) found in the forests of Europe, Asia, and Africa. See grants, travel.

bonham (Irish) A sucking-pig. See student, graduate.

brawn The flesh of the boar. See essays, collected.

Brucellosis An infection in swine or humans caused by the bacteria Brucella abortus or Demana colaboratis. Symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, self-denial and loghorrea. See Open Letter.

Bunging The loosening of a pig’s anus and reproductive tract during the process of eviscerating a carcase. “Feminism, like writing, is an open colon, a what comes now”—Van Herk (1990). See theory, literary and cultural (as an academic vocation).

chap The lower half of the cheek of a pig or other animal as an article of food. See carpe diem.

chitterling The smaller intestines of beasts, as of the pig, especially as an article of food prepared by fryeing. See mode, low mimetic.

clostridium ‘Baby Pig Disease’ caused by a genus of bacteria that are typically spindle-shaped, many species of which are pathogenic, and others of which have industrial and other applications. See studies, cultural.

cockagrice In early cookery, a dish consisting of an old cock and a pig boiled and roasted together. See marriage, academic (second).

crackled Of roast pork: having the skin crisp and hard. See Dean.

crap The residue formed in rendering, boiling, or melting pig’s fat. “Crappins or Craps, the shreds from pig’s fat, after the lard is melted out.” —Robinson (1876). See creative writing course, undergraduate.

crepinette Minced meat with sauce or farce, wrapped in pieces of pork caul. See English Studies in Canada, article in.

crew Pig-sty. See Guelph, University of.

crubeen (Anglo-Irish) The foot of an animal, especially a cooked pig’s foot. “Florence MacCabe takes a crubeen and a bottle of double X for supper every Saturday”—Joyce (1922). See fetishization.

cushion In a horse, pig, etc.: the fleshy part of the buttock. See administration, university.

distemper In pigs, pig typhoid etc., a disease characterized by catarrh, cough, and loss of strength. See association, faculty; see also budget cuts, vertical.

ditch pig Slang term used by fraternity brothers and university football players to describe unattractive members of the opposite sex. See Dworkin, Andrea.

doll A pet form of the name Dorothy, hence given generically to a female pet, a mistress. Also the smallest pig in a litter. “O pleasant companion: O little pretie doll polle”—Cooper (1578). See Feminism, targets of.

dung The excrement or faeces of animals (rarely, except at academic conferences, of humans), as cow-dung, horse-dung, pig’s dung, etc.. See articles, non-refereed.

enfarce To stuff a suckling pig etc. with forcemeat. See perversity, polymorphous (as reason for revoking tenure).

engammon To get into the haunch of a pig. See turpitude, gross moral (as reason for revoking tenure).

elt (also hilt) A young sow or pig. See sophomore.

Essex Pig of a kind bred originally in Essex, England. See student, international.

exsanguination The draining of blood from the carcase of a pig or other animal. See work, committee.

faggot A sort of cake, roll or ball made of chopped liver and lights, mixed with gravy, and wrapped in pieces of pig’s caul. “Where flaming faggots aid the vital heat”—Mackay (1797). See correctness, political.

fat-back (U.S.) A strip of fat from the back of a pig. See thesis, article from.

first spear In pig-sticking, the first lance to enter the pig. “A first-spear which merely pricks the pig in the buttock is a matter for shame” —Blackwood Magazine (1920). See article, seminal.

flare The ‘leaf’ of fat about the kidneys of a pig. See pay, merit.

frill The puckered edge of the fat which is stropped from the entrails of a pig. See contract, social (“Rae Days”).

galt A boar or hog.

gamble The crooked piece of wood used to hang up a pig or other slaughtered animal. See review, anonymous external.

gilt A young sow or female pig.

golf Of a pig: to grunt or snort, as in rage. See criticism, Marxist.

gralloch To disembowel, properly of a deer but also of a pig etc.. See reviews, post-tenure.

grice Young pig.

griceling Little pig.

griskin The lean part of the loin of a bacon pig. See British Columbia, University of Northern.

groin The snout, especially of a pig. See grout.

grout Of a pig: to ‘muzzle’ or turn up the ground with the snout. See conference, academic, schmoozing at.

grumphie (or grumphy) A quasi-proper name for the pig. See Doctor.

grumps (also cattle grumbs) The immature forms of two species of warble (or heel) flies that attack swine, cattle, and other animals. See studies, cultural and criticism, psychoanalytic.

grunt The characteristic low gruff sound made by a hog; a similar sound made by other animals. See lecture.

grunter An animal or person that grunts, especially a pig. See Professor, Associate.

gruntle The snout of a pig or other animal. See assistant, teaching.

gruntling A little grunter, a young pig. See Professor, Assistant.

gussie A pig. “A great fat gussie o’ a loon they ca’ Jock Webster”—Crockett (1895). See Limbaugh, Rush.

gry The grunt of a pig. See paper, seminar.

Hampshire Pig of a kind bred originally in Hampshire, England.

haslet A piece of meat to be roasted, especially part of the entrails of a hog. See undergraduate.

higgle To buy and fatten up an animal such as a pig for market. See fellowship, graduate.

higgledy-piggledy To run about aimlessly and in a panic, as with pigs being rounded up to go to market. See seminar, graduate.

hodge The stomach of a pig, cleaned out and eaten as tripe. See theory, critical.

hog A swine reared for slaughter, specifically a castrated male swine, a barrow-pig. “You either root like a hog, or you die a pig”—Bird (1985). See student, male graduate.

hoggish Of, belonging to, or characteristic of a hog or pig. Swinish, piggish, coarsely self-indulgent or gluttonous; mean, selfish. See professorial. “Is not a hoggish life the height of some Men’s Wishes?”—Shaftesbury (1711). See professorship.

hogling A young or little pig. See student, master’s.

hogwash (or pig’s wash) Kitchen swill or brewery refuse as food for swine. “The wretched, bloody, and usurping Boare...Swilles your wrm blood like wash, and makes his trough In your embowel’d bosomes”—Shakespeare (1594). See club, faculty, food at.

hog-wash The swill of a brewery given to hogs. See work, sessional.

in a pig’s eye, ear, or arse A derisive retort. “In a pig’s eye or arse you will”—Lambert (1951). See theory, speech-act.

in-pig Of a sow: pregnant. See appointment, tenure-track.

jinker A dodging person or beast such as a pig. See poet, belated.

lady’s hood The omentum of a pig. See jargon, critical.

landpike An inferior type of pig. See pig, male chauvinist.

landrace A large white pig originally developed in Denmark, now used elsewhere to produce bacon. See theory, post-colonial.

lard The external fat of the abdomen of a swine, much used in cooking. “And there’s lard—snowy lard—sometimes soft, sometimes hard” —Buchanan (c. 1915). See assistant, research and/or editorial.

larded Stuffed with fat bacon; smeared with lard, greased. See curriculum vitae.
Large Black A pig belonging to the variety so called (formerly called the Devonshire pig). See Rushton, Phillipe.

Large White A pig belonging to the variety so called (formerly called the Yorkshire Pig). See Reform Party.

learned Of an animal trained to make a show of intelligence. “I have a competitor for the Learned Pig”—Cowper (1785). See Professor.

Lincolnshire Curly-Coat A pig of an extinct breed so called. See scholar.

link One of the divisions of a chain of sausages or black puddings. See Quebec, Université de.

magic realism Vague critical term applied by academics to a specific type of fantastic writing. “When a pig flies in a novel you don’t like, that’s fantasy, and you stop reading that crap when you’re twelve if you’ve got any sense; when a pig flies in a novel you like, that’s magic realism, and there’s a hell of a lot of good articles in it”—Needle (1985).

mermaid-pie A suckling pig baked whole in a crust. See studies, interdisciplinary.

Moeritherium An extinct mammal of pig-like proportions. See criticism, structuralist.

mock-brawn A culinary preparation made in part with the flesh of a pig’s head. See post-modernism.

mort (also mord) Lard; pig’s grease. “Nif any-body-va got a bad leg or ort, there idn no fineder thing vor-t-n mort-n chalk”—West Somerset Gloss (1886). See paper, conference.

mouse In swine, the strongest muscle in the shoulder of a pig, which, when drawn out quickly from the flitch, makes a squeaking noise. See response, stock.

mudlark A poetical name for a pig. “Or fry the mud-lark’s odiferous wing”—Campbell (1801). See don.

Murphy’s countenance (slang) A pig’s face. See gown, academic.

mythographic A literary technique whereby local details are subordinated to archetypal patterns. “The death of Marvan’s pig is a mythographic way of recording the murder of inspired poetry by a new-fangled academicism”—Graves (1955). See Frye, Northrop.

nicknamer One who nicknames another person or thing. “The nicknamer of genius called this brand of genius ‘pig philosophy’”—Huxley (1894). See Bloom, Harold.

nuddle To push with the nose; to press close to the ground in this way; to grovel. “A pig in a poke...grunting and nuddling to get out”—More (1865). See schmoozing.

nuzzle To keep the nose pressed at or about, to press or rub the nose against something. “Every pig takes its own place, and nuzzles at the udder with the teat held in its mouth”—Stephens (1855). See nosing, brown.

oink Of a pig: to utter its characteristic sound; to make a similar sound; to grunt like a pig. “One young guy...leaned back in his chair and made a couple of oinks, and said ‘I smell pig’”—Wambaugh (1973). “They oinked at him, in concert, just about every time he opened his mouth” —McFadden (1978). See procedure, grievance.

on the pig’s back In a fortunate position; on top of the world; riding high; tenured. “Basil is on the pig’s back”—Wadman (1949). See tenure.

organ A musical instrument only rarely and poorly played by pigs. “No more skill...than a Pig playing upon the Organs”—Erasmus, trans. Kennet (1683). See poetry.

overall An item of clothing sometimes worn by pigs. “Martin had donned the Pig’s Full overalls...he really did look most striking”—Waugh (1960). See jacket, tweed.

pen To confine or shut up cattle, pigs, etc. in an enclosure. See retreat, department.

pettitoes The feet of a pig; especially as an article of food. See fetishization.

pig (also piggy) in the middle A children’s game. See oral, thesis.

pig The young of swine; a young sow or boar. “A pig is a pig from birth till six or eight months old, when it becomes a boar, a hog, or a sow” —Stillwell (1905). “I am a pig, what d’you think of that?”—Mitford (1945). By extension: a swine of any age, a hog; the animal or its use as an article of food; and animals in some way resembling a pig. Applied, usually contemptuously or opprobriously, to a person, or to another animal (cf. French cochon). “[I] knew him well, the selfish old pig”—Allen (1885). “That yeller-haired pig with the pink dress on!” —O’Neill (1931). See Professor.

pig bed A place where a pig lies; a pigsty, a pig’s lair. See Carleton, University.

pigdom The condition of being a pig; the realm of pigs. “Every phase of human hoggishness developed by excess into an unmitigated pigdom is there illustrated”—Sala (1878). “No doubt a very refined and cultivated specimen of pigdom”—Allen (1884). See academia.

pig’s eye As in colloquial saying “In a pig’s eye”: something unlikely to happen; an impossibility; a sarcastic response to a ludicrous statement. See metafiction, historiographic.

pigfully In a manner befitting a pig. “And...didn’t the two little pigs concerned play their parts pigfully!”—Atkinson (1891). See dialogue.

piggish Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a pig. Piglike; hoggish; stubborn; selfish; mean; unclean; vile. See professorate.

piggy A little pig, or animal so called; also playfully applied to a child; suggestive of pigs. See Buchanan, Mary.

piggy-man Slang term primarily used in the Southern U.S. to refer to one who fawningly does the bidding of others in order to curry favour and advance up the social ladder. “Now, I’m going to ride my little piggy-man out of here!”—Carvey (1992). See graduate student.

piggy-wiggy (also piggy-wig) A childish rhyming extension of piggy: a little pig. “And there in the wood a Piggy wig stood, With a ring at the end of his nose”—Lear (1879). See verse, free.

pigheaded Having a head like that of a pig; usually, having the mental qualities ascribed to a pig; obstinate; stupid, perverse. “Your pigs are far more intelligent than the other animals, and therefore the best qualified to run the farm....What was needed (someone might argue) was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.”—Eliot (1944). See committee, SSHRCC.

pig in a blanket A meal made by wrapping a sausage or weiner in pastry and cooking the resulting combination. See affair, academic; with undergraduate.

pig-jump (Australian slang) To jump in a frolicsome way from all four legs, without bringing them together. See criticism, dialogic.

pig Latin An invented language formed by systematic distortion of the source language. “‘Fee-a-Zuck yee-a-zoo, I’m wee-a-zith ee-a-zit!’ Cliff remembered his father’s warning about obscenities, but in carney pig-Latin, it didn’t sound too bad”—Moore (1978). See semiotics.

pigless Without a pig or pigs; having no pigs. See criticism, psychoanalytic.

piglet A little pig. “The little piglets...toddle sweetly about”—Broughton (1883). See student, third-year.

piglike Like, or like that, of a pig. “Their voice, a pig-like grunt”—Mammalia (1849); “Also he had absorbed, by the uniqueness of his retardation and by his proximity to his animal friends, certain piglike expressions and gestures”—Irving (1993). See professorial.

pigling A little or young pig; a suckling pig. “Then every Piglin she commends, And likens them to all their swinish Friends”—Winchelsea (1713). See student, first-year.

pigly Of, pertaining to, or befitting a pig. “I believe that pigly grace consists in plumpness and comparative shortness.”—Trollope (1859).

pirlie pig A small money-box with a slot to insert coins. See Council, Arts of Nova Scotia.

pigs in clover A children’s game. See tenure.

pigsty A shelter for pigs; a dwelling fit only for a pig; a miserable or dirty hovel. See office, graduate student.

pig’s wash (or pigwash) The swill of a brewery or kitchen given to pigs. “If I had not seen that... pig-wash, even if I could have got plenty of it, was a poor sourt of thing, I should never have looked life fairly in the face.”—Eliot (1866). See club, faculty, food.

pig’s whisper Stage whisper. See theory, reception.

pigtail A twist of hair, tobacco, or other substance resembling the tail of a pig. See Kristeva, Julia.

placing (or chalking) the pig’s eye or putting on the pig’s tail. A children’s game. See influence, anxiety of.

poke A bag or small sack, chiefly in the proverbial phrase to buy a pig in a poke. See Lacan, Jacques.

porcine Of or consisting of swine; related to or resembling a pig. “In [North America] the porcine genus are all hogs. One never hears of a pig.”—Trollope (1862). See instructor, sessional.

pork A swine, a hog, a pig. “Woe to the young posterity of Pork! Their enemy is at hand.”—Southey (1799). See Klein, Ralph and Harris, Mike.pork chop A slice of pork. See work, consulting.

porket A small or young pig or hog. See student, honours.

porkling A little or young pig. “The other...devoured a whole Boar, a hundred Loaves, a Weather, and a Porkling.”—Agrippa’s Van. Arts (1684).

porknell Someone as fat as a pig. See bureaucrat, federal.

porkrell A young swine; a pig. “Shoats, or Porkrels are their general Food.”—Clayton (1688).

pudding The stomach or one of the entrails of a pig or other animal stuffed with a mixture of meat, oatmeal, seasoning, etc.. See party, ACCUTE wine and cheese.

puff-pig A name for the common porpoise. See Chair, department.

pyne pig A container for the keeping of money; a savings box. See account, research.

razor-back A pig having a sharp ridge-like back. See deconstruction.

rearing-bone The hip-bone of a pig.

ringing The act of providing with a ring or rings, especially the putting of a ring in the nose of a bull or pig. “Yet surely ringing [of swine] is needful and good.”—Tusser (1573). See correctness, political.

ringle A metal ring, chiefly for a pig’s nose. See language, gender-neutral.

rit The smallest and weakest pig of a litter; a child or person of similar characteristics. See student, first-year.

roaster A pig, or other article of food, fit for roasting. “O, that beautiful little sow! what delightful roasters she produces.”—Sporting Magazine (1814). See student, fourth-year.

rooter A pig that roots. “The pig may...grow gaunt and fierce, a rooter among strange wild foods.”—Robinson (1886). See assistant, research.

runt A small pig, especially the smallest in a litter; a small pig that is weakly or under nourished. See Trent, University.

Saddleback A black and white pig belonging to the breed so called. See security, campus.

sidemeat Salt pork or bacon, usually from the side of a pig. “None of these intellectual-emotional phenomena is an adequate substitute for side meat and greens.”—Higgins (1975). See materialism, cultural.

sheat A pig under a year old. See student, first-year.

shoat A young weaned pig. “We killed a small Shote, or young Porker.” —Dampier (1697). See Ph.D., unemployed.

snork To snort or grunt. “The pig ran snorking and grunting after her” —Hone (1814). See feminist, male.

snorter Someone or something that snorts; a person who utters a snort in scorn, indignation, etc.; also, a pig. “Surely that thing...renders the Snorters of the Schooles unexcusable”—Chandler (1662). See historicists, old.

souse Various parts of a pig or other animal, especially the feet and ears, prepared or preserved for food by means of pickling. “If they catch the Amazons,/ They sowce ’em straight, as we do pig, by quarters.”—Cartwright (1641). See theory, abject.

sow The female of swine; an adult or full-grown female pig, especially a domestic one used for breeding. “I a sowhe, in donge and clay.”—Lydgate (1426).

spane A weaned pig or other animal. “My newspanit howffing fra the sowk.”—Dunbar (1500-20). See fellow, post-doctoral.

spice-balls Sausages made of the liver and lights of a pig, boiled with sweet herbs, and finely chopped. See criticism, radical; feminist.

squeaker A bird or animal that squeaks; a young pig. “At this period of his existence he is called a ‘squeaker’ and is not ridden”—Baden-Powell (1889). See student, master’s.

squeal To utter a loud sharp cry, especially by reason of pain or sudden alarm; to scream shrilly. “He bit off the ear of a pig because it squealed when he was ringing it.”—Edgesworth (1798). See police, language.

stag A male pig in its prime. See Critic, New.

stick To kill an animal, especially a pig, by thrusting a knife into its throat. “Hym bysemeth better to stycke a swyne than to sytte afore a damoysel of hyne parage.”—Malory (1470-85). See committee, promotion and tenure, meeting.

sticking The killing of a pig by means of a knife severing the carotid and jugular arteries. See budget cuts, horizontal.

store A pig or other domestic animal acquired or kept for fattening. “May is the month...when the paddock is alive with frolicsome littlepigs, fast growing into ‘stores.’”—Daily News (1911). See assistant, teaching.

stuck Of an animal that has been stabbed or had its throat cut, chiefly in the proverbial phrase, to stare like a stuck pig. See letter, rejection.

sty An enclosed space where swine are kept, usually a low shed with an uncovered forecourt, a pigsty. See office, professor’s, graduate student’s.

stying The placing of swine in stys. See hiring, academic.

sucking-pig A new-born or very young pig; a young milk-fed pig suitable for roasting whole. See lecturer, sessional.

sugescent Misused term for pertaining or adapted to sucking. “The pig [appeared] to be master of the sugescent art”—Plummer (1844). See student, graduate.

suine A fatty substance made from a pig’s lard, used as a butter substitute. See historicism, new.

sward Thick, hairy skin, especially the scalp of a man or skin of a pig. “I am a strawberry, a bacon without legs”—Klaasen (1996). See body, construction of.

swealing (also swaling) The burning or singeing of a pig carcase. See dinner, retirement.

Tamworth A town in Staffordshire used to designate a breed of pig, usually red or brown in colour, lean and large in build, and used to produce bacon. See M.A., terminal.

tantony The smallest pig of a litter; also said of someone who very closely or obsequiously follows another. “She made me follow her last week through all the Shops like a Tantony.”—Swift (1738). See creative writing course, graduate.

tidling The smallest pig in a litter. See student, first-year.

tithe-pig A pig due to be taken as tithe. See funding, selective, victim of.

titman The smallest pig of a litter; hence, a man who is stunted physically or mentally. “We are a race of tit-men, and soar but little higher in our intellectual flights than the columns of the daily paper.”—Thoreau (1854). See pig, male chauvinist.

torrefaction The process of drying or roasting by fire; the state or condition of being roasted. “ for the first time tasted [pig] in a state of torrefaction.”—DeQuincey (1839). See dinner, retirement.

tray A pig’s trough. “No more her care shall fill the hollow tray,/ To fat the guzzling hogs with foods of whey.”—Gay (1714). See Council, Social Sciences and Humanities Research.

trichinosis A disease of swine, rats, humans, and other animals caused by the parasites Trichinella spiralis and Theoria gallica. Infection is caused by ingestion of the partly cooked flesh or viscera of infected animals, and the severity of the disease is dependent on the level of infection. See Theory and Criticism, Centre for the Study of.

trig In good physical condition; strong, sound, well. “[T]hey do not sit badly [on their horses] considering that they have not the advantage...of pig’s skin and stirrups to keep them square and trig”—British Quarterly Review (1858). See salaries, bureaucracy and management, university.

truffle-pig A pig trained to discover truffles. See assistant, research.

turbary A small pig (Sus palustris) of prehistoric times that was first found in turbaries in Swiss lake-dwellings. It is believed by some pecarists to be the natural product of malnutrition and poor care. See Criticism, New.

vent The anus, anal, or excretory opening of animals or persons. “Take a Pig, and... draw him very clean at vent”—Woolley (1675). See review, post-tenure.

weaner A pig or any other animal weaned during the current year. See graduate, Christmas.

wee Imitation of the squeal of a pig. “The little pig said wee, wee, wee!” —Halliwell Nursery Rhymes (1842). See negotiations, salary.

week Imitation of the squeak of a pig or mouse. “Weeck, weeck, weeck, squeak’d the Pig”—D’Urfry (1719). See mimesis and geografiction.

whinnock The smallest pig in a litter. See student, first-year.

Wiltshire (also Wiltshire side) An English style of pork that must conform to rigid specifications in order to satisfy the English market. See Leavis, F.R..

worms Internal parasites that are hosted by pigs, humans, and other animals. Four of the most damaging are round worm (Modaris figeana), tape worm (Historia nova dentatus), heart worms (Budgetus cutticus) and kidney worms (Theoria postcoloniatus). See Canadian Literature.

wort The snout of a pig. See phenomenology.

wrine To squeal, as a pig. See meeting, committee.

wrough Used to represent the snort or grunt of a pig. See linguistics.

yoff Used to imitate the grunt of a pig. See criticism, reader-response.

Yorkshire The name of a breed of white pig, now widely bred for bacon. See Professor, Emeritus.