pig-pile (was Re: mosh-pit lingo (1980- ))

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Mon Aug 1 15:55:05 UTC 2005

On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 15:41:05 -0400, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU> wrote:

>1992 _Billboard_ 16 May 22/5 Other than the intensity level, observers
>say the mosh pit generally is the same the world over, but with subtle
>nuances. ... Boston has its "pig pile," reports Glitter, while San
>Francisco had a thing called "headwalking," adds Schnapp.
>(As for "pig pile" in the '92 _Billboard_ cite-- I believe that's a
>longstanding variant of "dog pile", no?)

This will surely appear in an upcoming release of OED3 entries, but just
in case, here are some cites...

* pig pile, n. = a literal pile of pigs

1891 _Democratic Standard_ (Coshocton, Ohio) 8 May 8/2 The pig pile
consisted of a rind of cold and uncomfortable pigs and a core of warm and
comfortable pigs, and there was a continual effort on the part of the cold
porcine rind to usurp tho places of the wann and comfortable porcine core.

* pig pile, n. = an impromptu pile of children, players on a team, etc.; a

1919 _Oxnard Daily Courier_ (Cal.) 26 Dec. 1/6 A pig pile near the walk,
Thirteen Mex after the cent: Twenty cents made one boy talk, His head
received an awful dent.

1921 _Harvard Crimson_ 11 Feb. The climax of the second period came when a
tangle of a dozen players at the side of the Crimson cage degenerated into
a pig-pile and completely overturned the net.

1923 _Fitchburg Daily Sentinel_ (Mass.) 10 Nov. 1/4 According to young
Sweeney who was on the bottom of a "pig pile" of youngsters on the banking
near the junction of Salem and Heywood streets Sunday afternoon, Nutllle
chased the others away and then kicked and hit him, it was said.

1985 _Washington Post_ 18 Oct. D7/2 About 20 guys formed a big pig pile on
top of Barrence on stage.

1986 _Seattle Times_ 19 Nov. F8 (Factiva) Nicknames, pigpiles and
serenades of the team all are part of the repertoire.

* pig pile, n. = other fig. uses: a messy heap

c1905? F.L. WRIGHT in M. Duschamp _Man About Town_ (1983) 13 Humanity
preying upon humanity...carcass...parasite...fibrous tumor...pig
pile...incongruous mantrap of monstrous dimensions.

1947 _Hollywood Quarterly_ 2(4) July 386/2 One film will present one idea
or point, and stop there, permitting no deviations from the straight line,
no pigpiles of ideas, and no diffusion.

1977 _L.A. Times_ 22 Oct. II7/2 As frantic as the scrambling gets --
beautifully timed scrambling -- it's never just a pig pile.

* pig-pile, v. intr.

1932 F.L. WRIGHT _Lower Construction Costs for Homes_ Now, it is senseless
getting the thing [sc. modern architecture] in a heap, pig-piling, to
pig-pile some more.

1985 _Boston Globe_ 22 Sep. 66 (Proquest) UNH turned over its offense to
Garron, who pig-piled in from the 1 after rushing for 59 of the 66 yards
the team gained on the drive.

1989 _Seattle Times_ 23 June 8 (Factiva) They pig-piled at the very end,
and we threw ice cubes on them.

1990 _Seattle Times_ 22 July C1 (Factiva) And these two clubs, who
pig-pile as much as they play, finished out the game.

* pig-pile, v. trans.

1979 R.C. TWOMBLY _Frank Lloyd Wright_ 324 The epitome of all that was
wrong with the city and with misapplied technology, Wright maintained, was
the skyscraper, an infinitely reproducible box designed to "pig-pile"
people on top of each other for profit, at the same time collectively
creating architectural wastelands.

1999 R. MURPHY _Empire & Victory_ 18 That's why they kicked him out of Cub
Scouts in fourth grade - he was chicken and the whole pack pig-piled him
and tore his shirt.

* pig-piling, n.

1958 F.L. WRIGHT _The Living City_  20 The citizen condemns himself to...

1958 F.L. WRIGHT _The Living City_ 22 Pig piling and crowding of big
business for eminence.

1987 J. ANDERSON in _S.F. Chronicle_ 14 July 51 (Factiva) Yet he feels he
has been a victim of press scourging that has illuminated every mishap in
his administration. The process is described inside the White House as
"pig piling."

1990 _Seattle Times_ 4 Mar. G1 (Factiva) What he questions about many
American cities is the trend to build higher and higher and put people in
smaller and smaller spaces. They call it "pig piling" in Arkansas and
that's what creates congestion, Jones says, lapsing into another reference
to Wright.

--Ben Zimmer

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