Pedlars' French to Pelican
Pedlars' French The slang of the Romany folk. Even Bracton uses the word Frenchman as a synonym
of foreigner, and it is not long since that everyone who could not speak English was called a Frenchman.
The Jews, with a similar width, used the word Greek.
Instead of Pedlars' French, gives him plain language.- Beaumont and Fletcher: Faithful Friends, i. 2.Peebles Poor Peter Peebles. The pauper litigant in Redgauntlet, by Sir Walter Scott.
Peel A Peel district. A clerical district (not a parish) devised by Sir Robert Peel.
Peeler (A). Slang for a policeman; so called from Sir Robert Peel, who reconstructed the police system.
Bobby, being the nickname of Robert, is applied to the same force. (See Bobby. )
Peep To look at. As a specimen of the ingenuity of certain etymologists in tracing our language to Latin
and Greek sources, may be mentioned Mr. Casaubon's derivation of peep from the Greek opipteuo (to
stare at). (Pe-pe-pe bo!)
Peep-o'-Day Boys The Irish insurgents of 1784; so called because they used to visit the houses of their opponents (called defenders) at peep of day searching for arms or plunder.
Peeping Tom of Coventry Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry, imposed some very severe
imposts on the people of Coventry, which his countess, Godiva, tried to get mitigated. The earl, thinking
to silence her importunity, said he would comply when she had ridden naked from one end of the town
to the other. Godiva took him at his word, actually rode through the town naked, and Leofric remitted
the imposts. Before Godiva started, all the inhibitants voluntarily confined themselves to their houses,
and resolved that anyone who stirred abroad should be put to death. A tailor thought to have a peep,
but was rewarded with the loss of his eyes, and has ever since been called Peeping Tom of Coventry.
There is still a figure in a house at Coventry said to represent Peeping Tom.
Peerage of the Apostles In the preamble of the statutes instituting the Order of St. Michael, founded
in 1469 by Louis XI., the archangel is styled my lord, and is created a knight. The apostles had been
already ennobled and knighted. We read of the Earl Peter, Count Paul, the Baron Stephen, and so
on. Thus, in the introduction of a sermon upon St. Stephen's Day, we have these lines:-
Contes vous vueille la patron
The Apostles were gentlemen of bloude ... and Christ ... might, if He had esteemed of the vayne glorye of this world, have borne coat armour.- The Blazon of Gentrie.I myself was intimate with a rector who always laid especial stress on the word Lord, applied to Jesus Christ.
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