Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Hailey. Hailey Wonders, “Why are they called pigtails” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Hailey!
Take a seat and we’ll tell you a tale about a tail. Is it a tall tale? Some may say so, but we think it’s a tale worth telling, especially if your tresses tend to turn into tails. What in the world are we talking about? Pigtails, of course!
Pigtails have been around for about as long as hair itself. No one knows for sure when people first parted their hair down the middle and collected it into a “tail” on each side. But chances are it was hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.
But why are they called pigtails? If you’re familiar with pigs and their tails, you know that pigtails—especially on people with straight hair—don’t necessarily resemble the curly tails you see on pigs.
As it turns out, the term “pigtail” has been used ever since the early 1600s. Back then, though, it was used to describe a twist of tobacco. During the curing process, tobacco leaves would be twisted together to dry faster.
The twisted tobacco leaves did resemble the curly tail of a pig, so they were called “pigtails.” Eventually, the term began to be used to describe hair braids that resembled the twisted tobacco leaves. Pigtails were very popular among soldiers and sailors in the 1700s.
Another popular hairstyle is the ponytail. Unlike pigtails, which usually come in pairs and are worn to the sides of the head, ponytails are worn as a single bunch of hair fastened at the back of the head and allowed to hang loosely. Often, ponytails do tend to resemble a real pony’s tail.
Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1