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guinea pig (n.)

rodent native to South America, 1660s. It does not come from Guinea and has nothing to do with the pig. Perhaps so called either because it was brought back to Britain aboard Guinea-men, ships that plied the triangle trade between England, Guinea, and South America [Barnhart, Klein], or from its resemblance to the young of the Guinea-hog "river pig" [OED], or from confusion of Guinea with the South American region of Guyana (but OED is against this). Pig probably for its grunting noises. In the extended sense of "one subjected to an experiment" it is first recorded 1920, because they were commonly used in medical experiments (by 1865).

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Definitions of guinea pig from WordNet

guinea pig (n.)
a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures; someone who is an object of investigation;
Synonyms: subject / case
guinea pig (n.)
stout-bodied nearly tailless domesticated cavy; often kept as a pet and widely used in research;
Synonyms: Cavia cobaya
From wordnet.princeton.edu