The guinea pig has different names. Here the guinea pig is often called "Guinean piglet". In Great Britain too, the name "guinea pig" is used in addition to "cavy", although the guinea pig does not come from Guinea. In the Middle Ages, however, a guinea was also an English currency. The first guinea pigs that came here were extremely expensive for that time and would have cost one guinea, hence the name probably.

The name also refers to "piglet" or "pig", something we also find in other languages. In French they speak of "cobaye" but also "cochon d’Inde" and in Italian it is "porcelline da India", literally: Indian pig. When America was discovered, people thought they were in India. In German one speaks of "ein Meerschweinchen", a pig from across the sea.

Although the guinea pig has virtually no resemblance to a pig at the latest, the names in the different languages, but also the terms 'sow' and 'bear' refer to a pig, presumably because they grumble like pigs and scream like piglets when they whistle loudly .