What are the 5 little piggies?
For the Family Guy episode, see This Little Piggy (Family Guy). “This Little Piggy” or “This Little Pig” is an English-language nursery rhyme and fingerplay, or, technically, toeplay. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19297. Children playing This Little Pig. The most common modern version is:
“This little piggy went to market” means that it was more than likely butchered and sold off to a market, or was on its way to the slaughterhouse. “This little piggy stayed home” – it managed to survive another day without being slaughtered and is safe, for now.
The term ‘lullaby’ derives from the Middle English lullen (“to lull”) and by[e] (in the sense of “near”); it was first recorded circa 1560. A folk etymology derives lullaby from “Lilith-Abi” (Hebrew for “Lilith, begone”).
The BBC insisted the nursery rhyme was not modified due to its target audience and said it had only been changed for ‘creative’ purposes. But Tom Harris, the Labour MP for Glasgow South, called the alteration ‘ridiculous’.
made their own houses. The first little pig made a house of straw, the second little pig made a house of sticks and the third little pig made a house of bricks. The next day, the Big Bad Wolf went to the first house. “Little pig, little pig, let me come in,” he snarled.
The real meaning behind the nursery rhyme is this: “This little piggy went to market” means that it was more than likely butchered and sold off to a market, or was on its way to the slaughterhouse. “This little piggy had roast beef”: this unfortunate piggy was being fattened up to be sold for a pretty penny.
Each line of the rhyme is sung while pointing out one children’s toe, starting with the thumb toe to the pinky toe. It usually ends by tickling the foot on the line: “wee wee wee all the way home”.
five little piggies
This little piggy had none. And this little piggy cried, “Wee, wee, wee,” all the way home. But if that’s all you’ve ever been told about these five little piggies, you may wonder what this is all about.
Point to, touch, or wiggle his big toe while you chant the first line. Move to his second toe for the second line, third toe for the third line, and so on. When you chant the very last line (“wee, wee, wee”), give him a little tickle, or cover him in silly kisses. Repeat the whole process with the other foot.
Origins. In 1728, the first line of the rhyme appeared in a medley called “The Nurses Song”. The first known full version was recorded in The Famous Tommy Thumb’s Little Story-Book, published in London about 1760.
The “little piggy having roast beef” is about fattening a pig up, while the fourth “piggy that gets none” is too small to go to the market. And perhaps most dark, that final little piggy is not singing “wee, wee, wee”, but crying it in fright.
“This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none and this little piggy …” the pinkie toe, voice rising to falsetto, “… cried wee wee wee all the way home.”