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. )
   Peeler. It is an extraordinary circumstance that this word, now applied to a policeman or thief-catcher, was in the sixteenth century applied to robbers. Holinshed, in his Scottish Chronicle (1570), refers to Patrick Dunbar, who “delivered the countrie of these peelers.” Thomas Mortimer, in his British Plutarch; Milton, in his Paradise Regained (book iv.); and Dryden, all use the word “peeler” as a plunderer or robber. The old Border towers were called “peels.” The two words are, of course, quite distinct.

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!)
   Playing bo-peep or peep-bo. Hiding or skulking from creditors; in allusion to the infant nursery game.

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.
    Matthew of Westminster (1307) is the first to record the story of Lady Godiva: the addition of Peeping Tom dates from the reign of Charles II. In Smithfield Wall is a grotesque figure of the inquisitive tailor in “flowing wig and Stuart cravat.”
   In regard to the terms made by Leofric, it may be mentioned that Rudder, in his History of Gloucester, tells us that “the privilege of cutting wood in the Herduoles was granted to the parishioners of St. Briavel's Castle, in Gloucestershire, on precisely similar terms by the Earl of Hereford, who was at the time lord of Dean Forest.
   Tennyson, in his Godiva, has reproduced the story.

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
De St. Estieul le baron.”

“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.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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