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swine, name for any of the cloven-hoofed mammals of the family Suidae, native to the Old World. A swine has a rather long, mobile snout, a heavy, relatively short-legged body, a thick, bristly hide, and a small tail. The name swine is applied mainly to domestic animals, which are also known as hogs. Sometimes these are called pigs, a term which in the United States is more correctly reserved for the young animals. Boar is a term for a male domestic swine suitable for breeding, but the term wild boar is used for the common wild swine, Sus scrofa, of Eurasia and N Africa. There are no true swine native to the New World, although a similar, related animal, the peccary, is found in the deserts and rain forests of parts of N and S America. The so-called wild hogs found in parts of the United States are descendants of the European wild boar, introduced for sport hunting, or hybrid offspring of escaped domestic hogs. Widely regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species, these feral swine are a significant agricultural pest in many areas of their range and also are harmful to a range of wild bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species.

The wild boar may reach a height of 3 ft (90 cm) and a length of 5 ft (150 cm). It has 9-in. (30-cm) tusks and a fierce disposition. Now rare in Europe, it is still common in parts of Asia. The Eurasian wild boar is believed to have been domesticated in Anatolia c.7000 B.C. or earlier. Modern domesticated hogs appear to be descended chiefly from this wild boar, with European strains supplanting Near Eastern ones after domesticated swine were introduced into Europe, and with some much later admixture of the smaller Asian domesticated swine that originated from a different subspecies in China about 8,000–9,000 years ago. Hogs were introduced into the Americas by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493; in 1609 hogs were shipped to the Jamestown colony from England.

Economic Importance

Swine are valuable for their flesh, prepared as ham, bacon, and pork, and for their fat (lard); they also provide many other products, e.g., leather for gloves, footballs, and other articles, and bristles for brushes. Hogs are commonly grouped as meat-type or lard-type, with the former dominating the U.S. farms. Hogs are raised in nearly all parts of the United States, but the corn belt of the Midwest is the chief hog-raising area, with Iowa by far the leading hog-producing state.

A great majority of U.S. hog production has moved from open pens to enclosed, mechanized facilities. The trend is toward huge, factorylike hog farms where swine are born and bred inside structures that feed, water, and dispose of wastes while controlling ambient temperature. Though hogs will eat almost any food, modern swine feed is nutritionally balanced to produce rapid and healthy growth. Based on a mix of corn and soybeans, the feed is supplemented by minerals, vitamins, and antibiotics. The giant modern farms produce enormous amounts of hog waste; this has become of increasing concern as a potential source of water pollution.

Diseases of Swine

Hogs are probably susceptible to a greater number of diseases than any other domestic animal. Respiratory and parasitic ailments are major problems, particularly with limited exercise and lack of sunlight. With an estimated 65% to 85% of U.S. herds exposed to swine pneumonia viruses, drugs are increasingly important to the hog industry. Some swine diseases are transmissible to humans. Among them are brucellosis, trichinosis, and cysticercosis. The last two are supposedly the basis of the first food sanitation codes.


Swine are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Suidae.


See J. Blakely, The Science of Animal Husbandry (3d ed. 1982); O. Schell, Modern Meat (1984).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


A domestic swine.
(computer science)
A computer program that uses excessive computer resources, such as memory or processing power, or requires excessive time to execute.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a domesticated pig, esp a castrated male weighing more than 102 kg
2. US and Canadian any artiodactyl mammal of the family Suidae; pig
3. Nautical a stiff brush, for scraping a vessel's bottom
4. Nautical the amount or extent to which a vessel is hogged
5. Slang chiefly US a large powerful motorcycle
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Favoured term to describe programs or hardware that seem to eat far more than their share of a system's resources, especially those which noticeably degrade interactive response. *Not* used of programs that are simply extremely large or complex or that are merely painfully slow themselves (see pig, run like a). More often than not encountered in qualified forms, e.g. "memory hog", "core hog", "hog the processor", "hog the disk". "A controller that never gives up the I/O bus gets killed after the bus-hog timer expires."


Also said of *people* who use more than their fair share of resources (particularly disk, where it seems that 10% of the people use 90% of the disk, no matter how big the disk is or how many people use it). Of course, once disk hogs fill up one file system, they typically find some other new one to infect, claiming to the sysadmin that they have an important new project to complete.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


A program that uses an excessive amount of computer resources, which is typically RAM but could have been storage with early computers. A hog may also be written poorly and take too long to execute. See program logic.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
After enduring years of jokes about his surname, Edward Kittens, 38, decided he might as well go the whole hog.
I don't know why the producers didn't go the whole hog and just have her blow in on the east wind like Mary Poppins.
Perhaps we should go the whole hog and canonise Bush and his lackey Tony Blair.
SirBob: If we have to build a new stadium and can''t rename it Anfield because we have to call it a corporate name, then why not go the whole hog and move it to Speke or somewhere else in the city, because what''s the point in staying in Anfield if we can''t call it Anfield!
THE biker style is back in fashion, according to Thursday's Style City supplement, but if anyone wants to go the whole hog and take to two wheels they're going to need a far more substantial jacket than those featured, no matter how smart and snappy they look.
Chris said: "We thought if we're going to do a fundraiser for the charity, why not go the whole hog and do something really ambitious like this.
Why doesn't Cardiff Council go the whole hog and close every school in Cardiff and build a hyperschool on top of Caerphilly mountain where no property developers would wish to build.
We should just go the whole hog and send Devon Malcolm out there to partner Harmy.
I don't see why you should go the whole hog straight away, if at all.
She said: ''I was going to have it cut short so I decided why not go the whole hog and have it shaved.
Merry Kris-mas If you're going to do a comedy festive jumper, you might as well go the whole hog. If anything says "we're fun, us!" better than wearing these matching Kim Kardashian and Kanye West numbers, I very much wouldn't want to see what it is.
"They do a nice selection of fresh vegetables and if you are feeling hungry you can go the whole hog and enjoy three courses.