Got a hammer handy?

Date: 12th June 2011

Remember the piggy bank? Everyone has a piggy bank growing up. Everyone also remembers emptying it out one more than one glorious event. Did you ever stop to wonder what interesting man or woman took the time however many of centuries ago to sit around and make a jar shaped like a pig. And put a hole in it? Who was this wacko?

What has become the wildly accepted international symbol of money-saving has one more surprise for you. Here it goes: No one invented the piggy bank. That’s right. You may feel a wee bit let down. WHAT DO YOU MEAN NOBODY INVENTED THE PIGGY BANK?

The piggy banks’ origin owes more to the history of language, than to an individual inventor. The Old English language, of around the 15th century, had a word “pygg” which referred to a type of orange clay. People made all kinds of useful objects out of clay, including dishes and jars to hold spare change.

Around the 18th century, the word “pygg” now sounded the same as the word for the animal “pig”. An unknown person(s) thought to shape a “pygg” jar, to look just like a real “pig”. Perhaps an order came in for a “pygg” jar and the potter misunderstood. Looks like we are all just going to have to settle for piggy-backs instead. Win.

PS this is our winning BNZ piggy….

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