Jewel: According to The Random House Dictionary…Third definition: A
I don’t know how many of you had piggy banks in their childhood…or
even today for that matter. For many of you…I’m sure…they were
precious possessions…or jewels. Clever way of making this all fit
into a jewelry e-zine …no? But wait…wait. I’m going to make it
worth your while.
Piggy banks date back to the middle ages…and even earlier for all I
know. But the question I hold before all of you is this: How did the
piggy bank get its name? After all…does a pig bury it’s food for a
rainy day? Nay nay my friends. A dog does that with its bones. Would
it not have been more logical then to have called it a Doggy Bank?
The horse…before the advent of the automobile…was essential to
easing the ways of commerce. Would it not have been more logical then
to call it a Horsey Bank? Squirrels “squirrel” away their valuables.
Would it not have been more logical to call it a Squirrely Bank?
Alas…it would seem that logic was defied…and that animal which in
no way represents frugality…has become the very symbol of
parsimony. Oh how oh how Benjamin…prithee do tell us…how did the
swine become the symbol for savings? Would you do that Benjamin? Hunh?
Would ya? Ol’ pal.
And so it goes like this. In days of old…middle ages in
fact…mined metal was scarce…and in fact expensive…and therefore
rarely used in the manufacture of household goods and knickknacks.
Instead…throughout western Europe… a type of dense orange-hued
clay was used. It was abundant. It was economical. People often saved
their money in jars made of this clay. It was not…at that time…yet
shaped like a pig. But the clay material…ah…that material…was
known as “Pygg”. Yessiree folks. There were Pygg jars…and Pygg
pots…and Pygg dishes …and Pygg cups…and even…for those who
squirreled away their money in containers made of this clay…Pygg
banks. Of course…eventually…what with modernization and all…the
clay was forgotten…but the name remained…and eventually the
creature whose name resembled the clay…became the symbol for the
As time passed…so did the forms of the Piggy Bank. And I thought it
would be kind of nice if I found one that looked a bit offbeat…and
show it to you…which I shall. It’s a cat of sorts…made of metal
alloy…with a slot on top the head…and created in Northern Europe
in the mid 1950’s.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits…and then click on the link that says: Pygg…where you will
see a graphic of feline bank.
And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all next
week. Benjamin Mark