Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. The feet of a pig used as food.
  • n.pl. Human feet or toes, especially those of a child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The toes or feet of a pig, often used as food.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. The toes or feet of a pig, -- often used as food; sometimes, in contempt, the human feet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The toes or feet of a pig: sometimes jocularly used for the human feet.

Etymologies

Possibly from earlier pettytoe, offal (influenced by petty and toe), possibly from Old French petite oye, giblets of a goose : petite, small + oye, goose (from Late Latin auca; see ocarina).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
petty +‎ toes (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To the great relief of Mrs. Sanders, Sam was allowed to depart without any reference, on the part of the hostess, to the pettitoes and toasted cheese; to which the ladies, with such juvenile assistance as Master

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

  • It is a most unworthy thing for men that have bones in them to spend their lives in making fiddle-cases for futilous women's fancies; which are the very pettitoes of infirmity, the giblets of perquisquilian toys ....

    Woman's Life in Colonial Days

  • There, negroes and negresses break it up with long poles armed with hard-wood head, trampling it under their delicate pettitoes to such an extent as to give rise to the question whether sugar-tongs are not a useless invention.

    Lands of the Slave and the Free Cuba, the United States, and Canada

  • Suffice it, as a specimen, that three pettitoes of an unfortunate roasting-pig, or rather pigling, which I fear must have died a natural death, formed the most substantial part of our repast.

    Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone Made During the Year 1819

  • _ _My clown_ (who wants but something to be a reasonable man) grew so in love with the wenches '_song_, that he would not stir his pettitoes, _till he had both tune and words_.

    Shakespeare and Music With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries

  • Next, he calls the women's tailor-made gowns "the very pettitoes of infirmity, the giblets of perquisquilian toys."

    History of American Literature

  • Drink-without-Thirst, was no doubt in want of some pettitoes.

    L'Assommoir

  • At mother Louis ', whilst they sucked the little bones of the pettitoes, they again fell to abusing the employers.

    L'Assommoir

  • Pieds de cochon à la Sainte Menehould, pig's pettitoes seasoned,

    Paris and Northern France

  • Put the liver, heart, and pettitoes into a stewpan with the bacon, mace, peppercorns, thyme, onion, and gravy, and simmer these gently for 1/4 hour; then take out the heart and liver, and mince them very fine.

    The Book of Household Management

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