guinea pig

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guinea pig

Guinea pigs have long been used in laboratory tests and experiments, though they have largely been replaced by rats and mice in more recent years.
1. noun Someone or something used as the subject of an experiment. Jane used her husband as a guinea pig to try her new baked chicken recipe. Craig earned a little extra money by signing up to be a guinea pig in some local clinical studies.
2. verb To test something out, especially when its quality or effects are uncertain or unknown. I would avoid guinea pigging anything Jane makes—she's a terrible cook. Don't guinea pig this eyebrow dye, unless you're OK with potentially looking ridiculous.
3. verb To be subjected to medical tests that are experimental or unproven. A: "You could guinea-pig to pay for your college tuition." B: "No way—it freaks me out too much." Did you really agree to guinea-pig this new drug trial?
See also: guinea, pig


slang The act or practice of subjecting someone or oneself to medical tests that are experimental or unproven. I considered guinea-pigging to pay for my college tuition, but I just couldn't do it—it freaked me out too much. Guinea-pigging is the only way for us to test this new drug before bringing it to market.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a guinea pig

COMMON If someone is used as a guinea pig, new ideas, methods, or medical treatments are tested on them. The new technology should allow us to study genetic disease without having to use humans as guinea pigs. This is the first time I've cooked this dish so you are my guinea pigs.
See also: guinea, pig
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a ˈguinea pig

a person used in medical or other experiments: Students in fifty schools are to act as guinea pigs for these new teaching methods.
A guinea pig is a small animal with short ears and no tail, often kept as a pet or used for laboratory research.
See also: guinea, pig
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Why not think about clicker training your guinea pigs? Done correctly this can enhance the bond with your pets.
"So far this year we have had more than 500 calls alerting us to the plight of guinea pigs.
"Nine times out of 10 it works and they appear happier, become more alert - just spending time with other guinea pigs helps them tremendously.
Traceback information was available for four guinea pigs purchased from two large pet store chains (Figure).
RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: "These 29 guinea pigs were kept in an upstairs bedroom in a squalid and entirely inappropriate environment.
The non-profit organization Portland Guinea Pig Rescue in Oregon, USA, had such a problem.
Cooing--Momma guinea pigs make this sound to let their babies know everything's OK.
In one study, 8 of 11 necropsied satin guinea pigs showed interstitial nephritis, pyelonephritis, and nephrocalcinosis [2], Massop (2009) found bilaterally cystic kidneys in one satinguineapigsuffering from SGPS, and Stoffels-Adamowicz (2014) encountered glomerular basal membrane thickness and larger parathyroid glands in 7 necropsied satin guinea pigs, compared with 4 control animals.
Now just 17 Guinea Pigs remain in the UK, and we are working with the RAF Benevolent Fund to ensure the legacy of the club lives on.
But Layla has been fielding calls from people who can no longer look after their guinea pigs since the start of the year, and the rescue centre's waiting list is getting longer and longer.
Affectionate and fun-loving pets, guinea pigs hate to live alone: males tend to live in pairs, while females and some neutered males can live as part of larger groups.
Crunch is a guinea pig who loves to do what all guinea pigs do--eat.
TEACHERS are got some unusual help in getting kids at a Coventry school reading - from their pet GUINEA PIGS.
Like people, guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C and deficiencies are common.
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