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Imagine an actual pig’s tail. Curly, right? Is your hair that perfectly curled? No? Then why do we call the “pigtail” hairstyle a “pigtail”?

Most girls would probably be wondering up until now why their cute little braids when they were younger were called pigtails. Well, if you haven’t thought about it, I bet you’re already thinking about it now.

(Photo from Yogi via Flickr)
(Photo from Yogi via Flickr)

A pigtail is a hairstyle wherein hair is either tied in a bunch or split into two, worn at the side of the head.  It can be tied into a braid or let hanging down loosely.

Going back into time, etymology dictionaries say that the term “pigtail” was used to describe a “tobacco in a twisted roll” in the 1600s. During that time, tobacco leaves were twisted together into a tight bunch—like the curly tail of a pig—before being cured and turned into chewing tobacco. It then evolved into a reference for describing the fashion among soldiers, sailors, and women who wore their long hair in a similar manner in the 18th and 19th centuries.

According to the Douglas Harper Online Etymology Dictionary, the term was “applied variously to other objects or parts thought to resemble this in appearance.” It was also used to refer to a short rope in 1894, states the Oxford English Dictionary.

So think if the telephone cord was already widely used by that time, these could’ve been called pigtails too!

This hairstyle was also widely used by celebrities in different variations – straight, ribboned, fishtailed, French braided, and whatever they think looks cute.

Look at Miley Cyrus rocking the ‘do in 2014:

(Photo from Miley Cyrus' Instagram page)
(Photo from Miley Cyrus’ Instagram page)
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