Why are cops called pigs?

Have you ever wondered why cops are often called pigs? Most of us know that it is a derogatory term. But why? Well, I searched the Internet and this is what I found…

Straight Dope
If you thought the term pig arose in the 1960s, you’re in for a surprise. The  OED cites an 1811 reference to a “pig” as a Bow Street Runner–the early police force, named after the location of their headquarters, before Sir Robert Peel and the Metropolitan Police Force (see above.)

Before that, the term “pig” had been used as early as the mid-1500s to refer to a person who is heartily disliked. The usage was probably confined to the criminal classes until the 1960s, when it was taken up by protestors. False explanations for the term involve the gas masks worn by the riot police in that era, or the pigs in charge of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Groink (http://website.lineone.net/~jbonno/greenpigs/hogwash.htm)
Back in 1809, Sir Robert Peel entered the House of Commons in London – he developed a passion for Sandy Back pigs found in Ireland and began to breed them in Tamworth. Soon, these pigs were known as Tamworth pigs. Pig slang was commonplace in Tamworth because of this, it was in 1829 that the relation to police came into it.

Politicians were concerned about the way London was policed and Sir Robert Peel changed things – his changes resulted in the formation of the Metropolitan Police. This is why police are referred to as ‘Bobbies’ or ‘Peelers’; they were Bobby’s boys…Due to the pig nature that Tamworth had become, the police suffered the same fate as other Tamworth products did: They became related to pigs.

A policeman once retorted to being called a pig with: “P.I.G – Pride, Integrity, and Guts!” (proudly), perhaps he took this from the bedroom door in the film ‘Stand By Me’.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t find this very helpful.

What brought this up, you ask?

Well, yesterday I put Reaves down for a nap and started cleaning up his toys. That’s when I came across this…


I swear I didn’t do it nor did I encourage Reaves. He took the pig from his John Deere Tractor set and placed it in the driver’s seat of his Little People police car.  I laughed so hard I was worried I’d wake him up.  I only wish I had left it that way for Hollis to see. At least I took a picture.

All joking aside, I respect and admire all law enforcement. They work tirelessly, often without thanks, for the benefit of others. Thank you for all you do!


One response to this post.

  1. This is my new favorite photo!! And you should have left it for Hollis to see, but I know your OCD would not let you :-p


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