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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Guinea pigs have long been used in laboratory tests and experiments, though they have largely been replaced by rats and mice in more recent years.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.

serve as a/(one's) guinea pig

To act or function as the object of a test, experiment, or assessment. We'll have a limited release of the product and let this region serve as a guinea pig. If it is received well, we can expand production and distribution to the rest of the country. A: "I have a wild new dish I'd like you to try!" B: "No way! I have no interest in serving as your guinea pig again."
See also: guinea, pig, serve
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Serve as a guinea pig

Fig. [for someone] to be experimented on; to allow some sort of test to be performed on one. (Alludes to the use of guinea pigs for biological experiments.) Try it on someone else! I don't want to serve as a guinea pig! Jane agreed to serve as a guinea pig. She'll be the one to try out the new flavor of ice cream.
See also: guinea, pig, serve
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 ?
Some corrupt marabouts force Bissau-Guinean boys to beg in Guinean Quranic schools.
The Student-Newman-Keuls test showed that, during the dry season, reductive sugar levels are significantly higher in the Sudanian zone while they are low in the Guinean zone.
Also, the Guinean minister praised the Egyptian position as the most participant in the budget of the African Union, according to the statement.
Also present at the event were Abdullah Al Hammadi, UAE Ambassador to Guinea, and several high-ranking Guinean officials.
The apparent willingness of the natives to help Australia in its time of trial seemed to attest to the strong ties of loyalty and respect felt by its Papuan and New Guinean subjects.
Sudanese zone samples showed the lowest values (Kandi), whereas the highest values were observed in Guinean honeys.
In his message, Jahangiri also congratulated the Guinean government and nation on the occasion.
Among the dead were three Guinean radio journalists who had been covering the education efforts.
Guinea is ready to welcome Moroccan investments and reaches out to the kingdom's businessmen to promote a win-win strategic partnership with their Guinean peers," the Guinean Prime Minister said at the Moroccan-Guinean Economic Forum under the theme: "Cap Guinea: Building an Economy, Opportunities to Seize."
[ClickPress, Mon May 13 2013] "Trends and Opportunities in the Guinean Non-Life Insurance Industry to 2017: Market Profile" is the result of extensive research into the insurance industry, covering the non-life insurance market in Guinea.
During a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, the Iranian president and the Guinean foreign minister underlined the need for bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral ties.
An increasing number of drug seizures at Guinean ports, as well as international seizures traced back to Guinea indicate that the volume of drug trafficking through the country is increasing.
The Guinean government is now conducting a review of certain mining contracts, including allegations of impropriety surrounding the confiscation, transfer and sale of the BSRG/Vale section of the project-allegations which BSRG and Vale emphatically deny.