The Dark Origins of Nursery Rhymes, The Hidden Meaning Behind “This Little Piggy” and Other Classics

The Dark Origins of Nursery Rhymes, The Hidden Meaning Behind “This Little Piggy” and Other Classics

...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.

The innocence of some of the classic nursery rhymes we grew up with may not be quite as it seems.


“This Little Piggy” is a classic nursery rhyme that most people are familiar with.

It tells the tale of five little pigs and their adventures, as an adult lightly touches the child’s toes while reading it out, followed by a tickle resulting in laughter.

However, Twitter user Samantha discovered at the age of 22 that the rhyme has a much darker meaning.

The rhyme suggests that the pig went to the market for food shopping, when in reality it was going to be sold for its meat.

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The remaining piglets’ future isn’t much brighter either.

The ‘little piggy staying home’ means the animal is not ready to be slaughtered yet and has to stay put until it is big enough.


The ‘little piggy having roast beef’ is getting fattened up for the slaughterhouse.

The ‘piggy that gets none’ is simply too small to be slaughtered.

The last little piggy cried all the way home after watching its mates meet their end.


The dark truth behind “This Little Piggy” has caused dismay and surprise on Twitter.

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Many people were shocked to learn the truth behind the rhyme.

“Childhood ruined,” the Today Years Old Twitter account admitted after sharing Samantha’s original tweet.

It seems that others were equally stunned to find out about the real meaning behind the nursery rhyme.

The dark origins of nursery rhymes


Many nursery rhymes have dark origins that date back to medieval times when many were first written.

“Ring Around the Rosie,” for example, is believed to be about the bubonic plague.

The ring referred to a rash, the pocket full of posies referred to herbs used to ward off the plague, and the phrase “we all fall down” referred to death.

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It’s important to understand that these rhymes were often used as a way of passing on important messages, either political or religious.

They could also be used to satirize those in power or those who held opposing beliefs.

They were also used as a form of entertainment and amusement.

While some nursery rhymes may have dark undertones, they continue to be a part of our culture and our childhood memories.

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