This is Pepito! He’s our mascot. He represents the fun side of what we do. Bookkeeping isn’t always drab and boring like some people may think. Pepito the pig keeps things interesting and makes us smile. I mean, just look at that face!
Where did piggy banks come from? If you’re interested in learning more about how the first piggy bank came to be, read on.
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The Origin of the Piggy Bank
These days the piggy bank is taken for granted — it’s a coin bank, shaped like a pig. Kids love them. But where did they really come from? Why do people around the world stuff loose change into small pink pigs?
The origin of piggy banks dates back nearly 600 years, in a time before real banks even existed. Before the creation of modern-style banking institutions, people commonly stored their money at home — not under the mattress (or hay rack), but in common kitchen jars. During The Middle Ages, metal was expensive and seldom used for household wares. Instead, dishes and pots were made of an economical orange-colored clay called pygg. Whenever folks could save an extra coin or two, they dropped it into one of their clay jars — a pygg pot.
Vowels in early English had different sounds than they do today, so during the time of the Saxons the word pygg would have been pronounced “pug.” But as the pronunciation of “y” changed from a “u” to an “i,” pygg eventually came to be pronounced about like “pig.” Perhaps coincidentally, the Old English word for pigs (the farm animal) was “picga,” with the Middle English word evolving into “pigge,” possibly because of the fact that the animals rolled around in pygg mud and dirt.
Over the next two hundred to three hundred years, as the English language evolved, the clay (pygg) and the animal (pigge) came to be pronounced the same, and Europeans slowly forgot that pygg once referred to the earthenware pots, jars and cups of yesteryear. So in the 19th century when English potters received requests for pygg banks, they started producing banks shaped like pigs. This clever — albeit accidental — visual pun appealed to customers and delighted children.