from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who panhandles; an urban beggar who typically stands on a street with an outstretched container in hand, begging for loose change.
  • n. A bum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A street beggar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a beggar who approaches strangers asking for money


Obscure. Speculative. Panhandling always seems to involve a container for receiving loose change, so perhaps referring to a small, handled pan or to the container as the pan and the arm[s] holding it as the handle. (Wiktionary)



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  • One of my favorite stores in NYC, a kitchenware store, is called "Broadway Panhandler". Only today I looked up the word.

    May 10, 2011