Cavia porcellus
Creatures Magic and magical theory

Guinea pig



Guinea: Possible confusion between African Guinea and the country Guyana in South America; also once used for any far-off place from England or Europe

Pig: refers to the fact that the creatures spend much time eating while making grunting noises like a pig

A "Guinea pig" also refers to any creature used as a test subject for experimentation


The idea that it would be easier to switch two creatures with similar-sounding names is also known as sympathetic magic.

In the Andes, Guinea pigs have always been raised for their meat. But when they were introduced into England in the 1500s, they were accepted immediately as exotic cuddly pets (source: Wikipedia).

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