There are many names which are given to guinea pigs like the Cavies, Paco, Zipper, etc. The reason behind their names is much more complicated and are still debatable. The origin of the guinea pig names is majorly linked to a lot of places.
Guinea pig origins
The origin of guinea pigs story as a pet started in South America. It is believed that the people who domesticated the guinea pigs started around 3000 years ago in the Andes Mountains, which is present-day Peru. They were mainly raised to be livestock and later were named cuy and are still known as the same.
The Cavies origin
The origination of guinea pigs can have a lot to explain about their names, but they were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the year 1500s. This is the time where the world guinea was used in their names. Also, there is another theory as the word guinea pigs come from the English gold coins, which was said to be the cost of a guinea pig. The theory is quite untrue which was mentioned by the name and was claimed to have been in writings dating from the late 1500s, yet it was not coined guinea pig until 1663.
The guinea pigs are not part of the pig family, rather the rodent family. They are named guinea pigs because they resemble the suckling baby pig in most parts. The history of the guinea pig is very complicated, and there is still no definite answers which can be the reason for its to exist.
There are many complicated terms which is used to describe a guinea pig-like cavy or cavies, which is the reason for them to be traced so easily. The name for a guinea is in taxonomy in Cavia Porcelllus which indicates their species and genus. There are many guinea pig and cavy names with which they were lovingly called. Cavies is just the name which stuck on to their as they grew.
They are still consumed as a part of delicacy and are some of the most socially accepted and consumed by all the people. It is still one of the major sources of protein for the people of Peru and Bolivia. Also, it has some cultural context as in the painting of the last supper; we see Christ and his disciples feasting on a guinea pig.