I read "the prize Middle White boar" in George Orwell's Animal Farm.

I read it on my kindle book.

The full sentence is:

Word had gone round during the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals.

Click: http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/literature/children/texts/orwell/animal-farm/ch01.htm

What does "prize" mean here? What kind of pig is this?

  • 5
    Please add the full sentence to your question. Prize here has this definition: 2. Given a prize, or likely to win a prize: a prize cow. It's a "middle white boar"; presumably that's some kind of pig, though I don't think any information beyond that is about English (but rather animals). I googled it anyway; this link might help.
    – WendiKidd
    Oct 24, 2013 at 2:15
  • I've editted the question.
    – dennylv
    Oct 24, 2013 at 2:41
  • "a prize cow" or "a prized cow"?
    – dennylv
    Oct 24, 2013 at 3:50
  • 3
    As an adjective, prize simply means good enough to deserve or win a prize, which you will find in any dictionary.
    – choster
    Oct 24, 2013 at 4:02
  • 1
    And to round it out, a boar is an adult male pig, and Middle White is a particular pig breed (just like Golden Retriever is a dog breed). Oct 13, 2014 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


As an adjective, prize means “likely to win a prize”. This means that if the boar entered a contest, it would have a good chance of winning. It doesn't necessarily imply that the animal has ever entered a contest or ever will, just that it has the qualities that would make it a likely winner. This is mostly applied to animals (prize cow) and to plants (prize orchid), but can also be applied to other concepts (prize essay, prize performance, …).

Prize-winning would mean that the animal has won at least one prize.

Prized is rather different. A prized possession is something whose owner puts a high price on, i.e. something that the owner considers to be so valuable that he does not wish to part from it. It can either be objectively valuable, in the sense that it would fetch a high price if the owner sold it, or subjectively, in the sense that the owner does not want to part from it, perhaps for sentimental reasons. In the subjective sense, treasured is more often used than prized.

  • 1
    It may only mean that the animal has won a prize at some time in the past. Feb 5, 2016 at 4:45

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