pigfish or porc-pisces

Pigfish… When is a pig like a fish? When it is a Medieval Latin porcus (pig) piscis (fish), or porpoise, of course.

  2. Those Pigs the Devil did Posses
  3. Mistook themselves, for Porc-pisces
  4. And Ran into the Sea to finde,
  5. And mix with others of their kinde.

from the Commomplace book of Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

 Robert Thyer. The Genuine Remains in Verse and Prose of Mr. Samuel Butler. London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson (1759).

Additional Information:

  • “I am informed by Mr. Thyer of Manchester, the excellent editor of this author’s reliques, that he could show something like Hudibras in prose. He has in his possession the commonplace-book, in which Butler reposited, not such events or precepts as are gathered by reading, but such remarks, similitudes, allusions, assemblages, or influences, as occasion prompted, or meditation produced; those thoughts that were generated in his own mind, and might be usefully applied to some future purpose. Such is the labour of those who write for immortality.”

     Samuel Johnson. Lives of the English Poets. London: R. Dodsley (1795).

  • See also sea hog
  • Matthew 8:31 at Biblos.com
  • Porpoise in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • Not to be confused with grunts, the pigfishes or the Fishpig.
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