Pig words: boar, gilt, hog, pig, sow

What is the difference between a boar, gilt, hog, pig, and sow?  

Swine is a domesticated pig or hog. Swine is a general, collective term – singular (one) or plural (several) – for male, female, young and old domesticated pigs or hogs.

Other terms for pigs and hogs are generally differentiated in terms of age.


A hog is a domesticated swine, especially an adult. 

A boar is a mature (adult) male swine.

A sow is a mature (adult) female pig.

A gilt is a mature female pig that has never had babies or is pregnant for the first time.


A pig is a term for any swine, especially domesticated swine, but officially a pig is an immature (young) swine.

A piglet is a baby pig.

A farrow is a litter (new-born group) of piglets.

A shoat is a young swine that has been weaned.

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


2 thoughts on “Pig words: boar, gilt, hog, pig, sow

    1. Thanks for the question. A hog is a domesticated pig. A pig can be a wild pig or a domesticated (tamed) pig, whereas a hog is one that is domesticated – usually on a pig or hog farm or property.

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