Pig and Whistle, Melksham, Wiltshire   3 comments

Pig and Whistle Melksham sign

Always a good sign to dash into a pub less than five minutes after opening and find drinkers queuing for drinks.  The only pub at this outer end of Melksham, the Pig and Whistle is a grand local plunked down next to a bog-standard 60’s estate.  But, the folks were great and they were doing a roaring trade (they were even sending out huge takeaway containers of the Sunday Roast to folks that ordered ahead).

In a bit of a hurry, I watched the rain pass alone (I had come in soaked from the 3/4 mile dash from the King’s Arms) in a window seat near the pool table.  With nothing much more to write about on this visit, I’ll relate what I think is the actual etymology of this pub name although you can find any number of these online or, as mine was gleaned, from a reference book (one of those big, papery, antique wiki’s).

I think most people are generally agreed on Whistle being a corruption of Wassail but the Pig might cause a fight.  Again, look it up yourself if you cling to the straight derivation from Pig or Piggin (earthenware or wooden vessels) , but I especially like the idea that, when drinking vessels were expensive and hygiene at less of a premium, taverns would use a communal mug with closely set pegs (somewhat like ‘pigs’) inside.  You would take a drink down to the peg you paid for or, if cheating a drinking buddy you might ‘take him down a peg.’


Pig and Whistle Melksham carpet


I was especially taken with the pub’s carpet, above, that would easily disguise a wide variety of stains.  As something of a pub carpet aficionado, I found this one thoroughly delightful…I’m so jealous.

Map linked here.

Pig and Whistle Melksham


Posted July 7, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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3 responses to “Pig and Whistle, Melksham, Wiltshire

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  1. Pingback: Running Week in Review: 5 July 2015 | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

  2. I found it really interesting in regards to the whole down a peg saying. You learn something new everyday!


    The Dude Run Run
  3. Pingback: King’s Arms, Melksham, Wiltshire | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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