Monday, April 16, 2012

inquiring minds want to know: piggy bank edition

"Why are coin banks shaped like pigs?" I found myself asking aloud to no one in particular the other night.  The only semi-reasonable explanation I could come up with was that it was, perhaps, a social commentary of sorts on the immorality of hoarding/being "piggish" with money.  Or maybe the pig has more positive virtues I don't know about like patience and prudence to save for something worthwhile?  Turns out, neither of these conjectures explain the shape of coin banks today.

Apparently, hundres of years ago, European dishware was crafted out of orange clay called pygg. People began to save their hard-earned coins in jars made out of this substance and the jars were referred to as pygg banks. The term was lost in translation when an English potter misunderstood the name (a classic homonymic mistake) and made a bank modeled after a pig. His designs caught on, and the rest is history.

information for this post gathered here and here

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