Pigs Reject ‘Oink’ As Suitable Translation of their Famous Sound

Monica Farrow
Pork Intern

In a new poll released Friday afternoon, nearly 85 percent of registered pigs said they disapproved of “oink” as the proper English translation of the sound they emit throughout the day.  By a 3 to 1 margin, pigs also said it was unnecessary and inappropriate for people even to attempt a translation of the noises swine make.

“After all,” squealed one respondent, “we don’t go around trying to mimic human noises, like ‘hiya, howeryoo, imfyne, goodtaseeya’. We’d sound like idiots.”

Another respondent grunted, “All my life I’ve cringed when overhearing people say ‘oink’.  If you want my opinion, a pig oinking would be like a duck barking or a dog quacking or a…a hummingbird mooing or an alligator meowing or a…uh, it’d be like a blowfish purring or an amoeba roaring or an African bull elephant saying cock-a-doodle-doo. I could go on.”

Of the pigs polled, 67 percent expressed “strong” disapproval of “oink,” 12 percent expressed “vehement” disapproval, and 3 percent said that if they heard “oink” again they would sprint to a slaughterhouse and beg to be processed into ham or bacon.

An insignificant number of swine expressed only mild disapproval of “oink” or had no opinion on the matter. Of those who had no opinion, 96 percent said they had strong opinions on other issues but weren’t comfortable discussing them either in public or in private. The remaining 4 percent said they had some opinions but weren’t sure on what, and so characterized the opinions as weak. One pig confessed he didn’t know what an opinion was.

The poll was released by PPP (Pig Policy Pulpit), a division of the nonpartisan Pork Institute, which is a centrist think pen based in Cincinnati, Ohio.   The survey was based on telephone interviews conducted March 11 through March 14 with 744 pigs throughout the Midwestern United States. Of that number, 311 were sows (mature females), 206 were boars (uncastrated males), 154 were barrows (castrated males), and 73 were gilts (young females yet to produce a litter of piglets—so get on with it, gals!).