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423997.  Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:42 pm Reply with quote

What is the origins of the terms:
    Piggy in the middle

    Piggy back?

Rudolph Hucker
424017.  Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:45 pm Reply with quote

TimWalden wrote:
What is the origins of the terms:
    Piggy in the middle
When one policeman becomes separated from his colleagues and ends up between the cordon and the protestors

    Piggy back?
The cry that goes up when the policeman regains his position in the the thin blue line.

Oh! and welcome to the forum!

424027.  Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:16 pm Reply with quote

Only a guess here, but I'm guessing that "piggy in the middle" probably comes from the way piglets jostle each other when suckling.

As for Piggyback, this is probably a bastardisation of "pick a pack" which referred to the way workers carried sacks by hauling it over their backs and using their backs to carry the weight.

suze will no doubt come with more precise definitions though :)

424344.  Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:40 am Reply with quote

Damnit, I shall have to now!

Except that none of the sources at my disposal can really help re "piggy in the middle" - they all say that the origin of the phrase is uncertain. CB27's explanation is as plausible as any other.

Another which has been claimed is that it's a baseball phrase - it was originally "pickle in the middle", because one is in something of a pickle if stranded between bases. But if it were thus, you'd expect the children's game of Piggy In The Middle to be so called in the USA - which it isn't usually; it's more often called Keep Away there.

On "piggyback", nothing to add - CB27 has explained it in accordance with the received wisdom. See this page, for instance.


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