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Origins Of The Term "PIG"

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astronuke:
My shift partner was going through an NRRPT computer practice test and found an interesting question about the term "pig".  In the answer, the exam bank claims that the origin of this nuclear term is Celtic and "not related to an animal."  I thought I'd check with some of the nuclear historians here at Nukeworker to see if anyone knew the details.   ???

Melissa White:
It comes from smelting.  Ever heard of "Pig Iron"?  A pig is simply a chunk of metal.
A simple google search turned this up:

"pig-iron" (This is a mere play upon the word sow. When iron is melted it runs off into a channel called a sow, the lateral branches of which are called the pigs; here the iron cools, and is called pig-iron.)

Rain Man:

--- Quote ---

"pig-iron" (This is a mere play upon the word sow. When iron is melted it runs off into a channel called a sow, the lateral branches of which are called the pigs; here the iron cools, and is called pig-iron.)

--- End quote ---


Somebody would have to be possessed by demon radiological spirits to use pig iron for source storage.  But then I have seen it done (and a mighty stupid idea that was).  Maybe the term derives from source pigs being a "pig" to move.

RDTroja:
Melissa is correct. A pig is any chunk of metal and I believe that the origin has nothing to do with an animal, as astronuke has suggested. Whether it is Celtic or not, I don't know.

The American Heritage┬« Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000.

3a. A crude block of metal, chiefly iron or lead, poured from a smelting furnace. b. A mold in which such metal is cast. c. Pig iron.

SloGlo:
seems to me that a pig can be constructed out of any metal, as i seem to remember a few stainless models that radiographers utilized for their sources.... maybe it wuz well waxed pig iron though.

maybe the celts were the 1st to stick it in a pig, hence the reference... ;D

from encarta on-line dictionary.... all of the previous definitions plus this tracer...


[Assumed Old English picga . Originally in the sense “young pig.”]

probably where they got the celt reference.... wonder iffen that's pronounced pigahh or pigay.  maybe it was a happy pig. ;)

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