Piggy Banks and their Story
Categories: Giddy Tales11 Jan 2017
Why Are Money Boxes Piggy Banks?
Why are so many money boxes shaped like Pigs? Are pigs particularly good at saving? Do they snuffle away for a rainy day?
The reason the beloved Piggy Bank is actually piggy shaped dates back hundreds of years.
In England during the Middle Ages household pots and jars were made out of "pygg" - an orange coloured clay. Pygg pots and jars were used for storing all sorts of things, including any precious coins that could be squirreled away. By the 18th Century the "pygg pot" had become a "pygg bank" and eventually even the shape evolved to become an actual pig.
But could there be another Piggy connection? The Old English word for Pig was Picga. The word picga eventually evolved into pigge... possibly because these animals were known for rolling around in the muddy... pygg. That's right! The very same stuff that pygg banks were made out of!
Whether potters started making Pygg Banks shaped like Pigs because they had a sense of humour or because of the Pygg/Pigge word confusion is anyone's guess. Either way, these little coin saver money boxes have been delighting children and adults for hundreds of years and still play a traditional part in many milestone celebrations today.
(And speaking of visual puns... who knows if in another few hundred years a future Giddy Aunt may be telling a similarly confusing story about One Carrot Diamonds?
We do hope so!)