from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See blue-peter
  • noun In whist, a conventional signal indicating a call for trumps. See peter, verb
  • noun The common American coot, Fulica americana: so called with reference to its color, with an allusion to blue-peter.
  • To diminish gradually and then cease; fail; be-come exhausted; in mining, to split up into branches and become lost: said of a vein which runs out or disappears, so that it can no longer be followed by the miner: with out.
  • noun In thieves' cant, a traveling-bag, portmanteau, trunk, or any piece of baggage or a parcel.
  • In whist, to call for trumps by throwing away a higher card of a suit while holding a smaller.
  • noun A kind of wine otherwise called peter-sec-me and peter-sameene.
  • noun A kind of cosmetic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A common baptismal name for a man. The name of one of the apostles
  • noun a fishing boat, sharp at both ends, originally of the Baltic Sea, but now common in certain English rivers.
  • noun [Cant, U.S.] the auctioneer in a mock auction.
  • noun In modern times, a voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics to the private purse of the pope.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a haddock; -- so called because the black spots, one on each side, behind the gills, are traditionally said to have been caused by the fingers of St. Peter, when he caught the fish to pay the tribute. The name is applied, also, to other fishes having similar spots.
  • intransitive verb Slang, U.S. To become exhausted; to run out; to fail; -- used generally with out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The penis.
  • verb To dwindle; to trail off; to diminish to nothing

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

  • noun disciple of Jesus and leader of the Apostles; regarded by Catholics as the vicar of Christ on earth and first Pope
  • noun obscene terms for penis


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

US, 1902, presumably from shared initial pe-.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1812, US miners’ slang, Unknown. Various speculative etymologies have been suggested. One suggestion is that it comes from peter being an abbreviation of saltpeter, the key ingredient in gunpowder – when a mine was exhausted, it was “petered”. Other derivations are from St. Peter (from sense of “rock”), or French péter ("to fart").


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