From Middle English early 15th century schot / shote: projectile, young branch, young weaned pig (see also shoot); perhaps from a Low German (compare West Flemish schote: pig under 1 year old), of unknown origin. —Online Etymology Dictionary
One reader, at Merriam-Webster, gave this reason for looking up the word:
A word that was, no doubt, more commonly used in the mid 20th century.
Diana, at the Righteous Bacon, says that many pork producers are both pig farmers and hog farmers, intimating that the two are not necessarily the same thing. Best I let her speak for herself:
So, what’s the difference between a pig and a hog? Size, mostly. And by extension age. But that’s far from where the distinctions end. There are also weaners, feeders, shoats, gilts, sows, boars, barrows, and a small dictionary full of other bits of swine-specific vocabulary to go along with the industry.
A shoat, according to Diana, is:
This is in contradistinction to a hog, which is:
And a weaner, more specifically, is:
Diana seems to know what she’s talking about. So let me plug her book:
You can order it here. Don’t worry, Diana wouldn’t know me from an aardvark. There are no pecuniary interests to declare. Just felt like plugging.
Let’s hope no shoats were injured, physically or otherwise, during filming of that video.
Tip: A young pig weaned but not yet a fully fledged hog is a shoat.
- Shoat – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- When a Pig is a Hog (and When It’s Not), Diana – Righteous Bacon, February 5, 2013
Shoat – Pixabay