from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various omnivorous, even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae, including pigs, hogs, and boars, having a stout body with thick skin, a short neck, and a movable snout.
  • n. A person regarded as brutish or contemptible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various omnivorous, even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae.
  • n. A contemptible person (plural swines).
  • n. Plural form of sow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any animal of the hog kind, especially one of the domestical species. Swine secrete a large amount of subcutaneous fat, which, when extracted, is known as lard. The male is specifically called boar, the female, sow, and the young, pig. See hog.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ungulate non-ruminant quadruped, of the family Suidæ in a broad sense; any hog, pig, sow, or boar; in the plural, these animals collectively.
  • n. A mean, degraded person; a hoggish individual.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. stout-bodied short-legged omnivorous animals


Middle English, from Old English swīn; see sū- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English swīn, (Proto-Germanic *swīnan, from an adjectival form of Proto-Indo-European *sū- (compare Latin sūs, Ancient Greek ὗς)). Related to German Schwein, Dutch zwijn, Polish świnia, Russian свинья. See also sow. (Wiktionary)


  • The term swine flu hurt the pork industry so much that they pushed for a name change and got it.

    Oil-garchical Collectivism

  • Incidentally, the term swine flu which a lot of people use is a misnomer.

    CNN Transcript Sep 23, 2009

  • The World Health Organization says it's dropping the term swine flu to refer to the virus officially now known as the H1N1 influenza.

    CNN Transcript Apr 30, 2009

  • The term swine-plague should not be used in speaking of outbreaks of hog-cholera, as it is now considered a form of hog-cholera involving especially the lungs.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals

  • Also, because the pork lobby has loudly objected to the term swine flu, all federal health officials are required to refer to it as pandemic H1N1 or 2009 H1N1. - News

  • The government, under pressure from pork producers, urged the media to drop the term swine flu and instead refer to the virus by using the specific virus strain, H1N1. : News

  • Although the term swine is usually applied only to the domesticated animal, it actually covers all members of the family Suidae.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 2

  • Try typing in "swine" into Google and Yahoo image searches, then do the same for "swine flu", and you'll see how Google treats the two searches very differently from each other, but Yahoo treats them nearly the same.

    Break Google’s Monopoly On Your Data: Switch To Yahoo Search | Lifehacker Australia

  • U.S. officials say they may abandon the term swine flu, for fear it’s confusing people into thinking they could catch it from pork, which is flat-out wrong…

    What’s in a Name? Swine Flu ‘Confusing Some’ «

  • News U.S. officials say they may abandon the term swine flu, for fear it’s confusing people into thinking they could catch it from pork, which is flat-out wrong…

    2009 April «


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  • Well, now that you put it that way....

    June 5, 2011

  • Wouldn't that be a little like carbonara sauce?

    *goes to look up recipe*

    June 5, 2011

  • Milk that tastes like bacon? Blecch.

    June 4, 2011

  • Why don't humans drink swine milk?

    Duh, delicious bacon!

    June 3, 2011

  • Why don't humans drink swine milk?

    June 3, 2011

  • Though we tend to associate swine with impossibility, "when pigs fly", cows tend to feature more prominently in this context in other cultures: "when cows fly", "at Easter of the horses and at the wedding of the cows", "when the cow coughs".

    French also is quite fond of cows when it comes to expressions, e.g. "La vache !" (Dammit!); "vachement" as an adverbial intensifier, etc. An interesting discussion of this phenomenon is found here .

    June 3, 2011

  • Well done! You're a rare talent.

    June 3, 2011

  • And humans drink their milk, but not as a rule swine's milk. And while men are often compared to swine, comparisons to kine tend to be reserved for women, especially in British English (Am. English prefers canines as the object of comparison in this case).

    June 3, 2011

  • Yes... go on. You're doing great!

    June 3, 2011

  • Cows are taller.

    June 2, 2011

  • Cf. kine.

    June 1, 2011

  • Wouldn't you like to get away?
    Bestowing the memory of good and evil
    On the ones you left behind
    The heartless swine

    (Le pastie de la Bourgeoisie, by Belle and Sebastian)

    August 19, 2008