pedanticism (n.) Look up pedanticism at
19c., from pedantic + -ism. Earlier was pedantism (1590s).
pedantocracy (n.) Look up pedantocracy at
1842, from pedant + -cracy. Coined (in French) by Mill in a letter to Comte.
pedantry (n.) Look up pedantry at
1610s, from Italian pedanteria, from pedante, or from French pédanterie, from pédant (see pedant).
peddle (v.) Look up peddle at
"to retail," 1837 in modern use, a colloquial back-formation from peddler. Related: Peddled; peddling.
peddler (n.) Look up peddler at
late 14c. (c. 1300 as a surname, Will. Le Pedelare), from peoddere, peddere (c. 1200, mid-12c. as a surname), of unknown origin. It has the appearance of an agent noun, but no corresponding verb is attested in Middle English. Perhaps a diminutive of ped "panier, basket," also of unknown origin, but this is attested only from late 14c. Pedlar, preferred spelling in U.K., is attested from late 14c.
pederast (n.) Look up pederast at
1730s, from French pédéraste, from Latin paederasta, from Greek paiderastes "a lover of boys" (see pederasty).
pederasty (n.) Look up pederasty at
"sodomy of a man with a boy," c. 1600, from French pédérastie or directly from Modern Latin pæderastia, from Greek paiderastia "love of boys," from paiderastes "pederast, lover of boys," from pais (genitive paidos) "child, boy" (see pedo-) + erastes "lover," from erasthai "to love" (see Eros).
pedestal (n.) Look up pedestal at
1560s, "base supporting a column, statue, etc.," from Middle French piédestal (1540s), from Italian piedistallo "base of a pillar," from pie "foot" + di "of" + stallo "stall, place, seat," from a Germanic source (see stall (n.1)). Spelling in English influenced by Latin pedem "foot." An Old English word for it was fotstan, literally "foot-stone." Figurative sense of put (someone) on a pedestal "regard as highly admirable" is attested from 1859.
pedestrian (adj.) Look up pedestrian at
1716, "prosaic, dull" (of writing), from Latin pedester (genitive pedestris) "plain, not versified, prosaic," literally "on foot" (sense contrasted with equester "on horseback"), from pedes "one who goes on foot," from pes (genitive pedis) "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)). Meaning "going on foot" is first attested 1791 in English (it also was a sense of Latin pedester). The earlier adjective in English was pedestrial (1610s).
pedestrian (n.) Look up pedestrian at
"walker," 1793, from pedestrian (adj.).
pediatric (adj.) Look up pediatric at
1849, from Greek paid-, stem of pais "child" (see pedo-) + -iatric.
pediatrician (n.) Look up pediatrician at
1884, from pediatric + -ian.
pediatrics (n.) Look up pediatrics at
1884; from pediatric; see -ics.
pedicel (n.) Look up pedicel at
1670s, from Modern Latin pedicellus, diminutive of pediculus (see pedicle).
pedicle (n.) Look up pedicle at
"footstalk of a plant," 1620s, from Latin pediculus "footstalk, little foot," diminutive of pedem (nominative pes) "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)).
pediculosis (n.) Look up pediculosis at
"lice infestation," 1809, with -osis + pediculus, diminutive of pedis "a louse," said in some sources to be akin to pedere "to break wind" (see petard) on notion of "foul-smelling insect" [Watkins].
pediculous (adj.) Look up pediculous at
"infested with lice; pertaining to lice," 1540s, from Latin pediculosus, from pediculus "louse" (see pediculosis).
pedicure (n.) Look up pedicure at
1839, "one whose business is surgical care of feet" (removal of corns, bunions, etc.), from French pédicure, from Latin pes (genitive pedis) "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)) + curare "to care for," from cura "care" (see cure (n.1.)). In reference to the treatment itself, attested from 1890; specifically as a beauty treatment, from 1900.
pedigree (n.) Look up pedigree at
early 15c., "genealogical table or chart," from Anglo-French pe de gru, a variant of Old French pied de gru "foot of a crane," from Latin pedem accusative of pes "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)) + gruem (nominative grus) "crane," cognate with Greek geranos, Old English cran; see crane (n.)).

On old manuscripts, "descent" was indicated by a forked sign resembling the branching lines of a genealogical chart; the sign also happened to look like a bird's footprint. Form influenced in Middle English by association with degree. Meaning "ancestral line" is mid-15c.; of animals, c. 1600. Related: Pedigreed.
pediment (n.) Look up pediment at
triangular part of the facade of a Greek-style building, 1660s, alteration of periment, peremint (1590s), of unknown origin, "said to be a workmen's term" [OED]; probably a dialectal garbling of pyramid, the connection perhaps being the triangular shape. Sometimes associated with ped- "foot." Other possibilities include Latin pedamentum "vine-stalk, prop," and Italian pedamento, which at the time this word entered English meant "foundation, basework, footing." Meaning "base, foundation" is from 1726, by inflience of Latin pedem "foot."
pedo- Look up pedo- at
before vowels ped-, word-forming element meaning "boy, child," from Greek pedo-, comb. form of pais "boy, child," especially a son, from PIE root *peu- "small, little, few, young" (see few (adj.)). The British form paed- is better because it avoids confusion with ped-.
pedology (n.) Look up pedology at
"scientific study of the soil," 1924, from Greek pedon "ground, earth," from PIE root *ped- (1) "foot" (see foot (n.)) + -logy. Related: Pedological. Earlier it was a word for "the study of children" (1894), from pedo-.
pedometer (n.) Look up pedometer at
instrument for measuring distances covered by a walker, 1723, from French pédomètre (1712), a hybrid coined from Latin pedis (genitive of pes "foot;" see foot (n.)) + Greek metron "a measure" (see meter (n.2)). At first Englished as waywiser.
pedophile (n.) Look up pedophile at
1951, derived noun from pedophilia.
pedophilia (n.) Look up pedophilia at
1900, from Greek pais (genitive paidos) "child" (see pedo-) + philos "loving" see -phile). First attested in an abstract of a report by Krafft-Ebing.
pedophiliac (adj.) Look up pedophiliac at
1951, from pedophilia.
pedophilic (adj.) Look up pedophilic at
1920, from pedophilia + -ic.
peduncle (n.) Look up peduncle at
1753, from Modern Latin pedunculus "footstalk," diminutive of pes (genitive pedis) "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)).
pedunculated (adj.) Look up pedunculated at
1752, from Modern Latin pedunculatus, from pedunculus (see peduncle).
pee (v.) Look up pee at
1788, "to spray with urine," euphemistic abbreviation of piss. Meaning "to urinate" is from 1879. Related: Peed; peeing. Noun meaning "act of urination" is attested from 1902; as "urine" from 1961. Reduplicated form pee-pee is attested from 1923.
peek (v.) Look up peek at
late 14c., piken "look quickly and slyly," of unknown origin. The words peek, keek, and peep all were used with more or less the same meaning 14c.-15c.; perhaps the ultimate source was Middle Dutch kieken. Related: Peeked; peeking.
peek (n.) Look up peek at
"a peek, glance," 1844, from peek (v.).
peekaboo (n.) Look up peekaboo at
also peek-a-boo, as a children's game attested from 1590s; as an adjective meaning "see-through, open," it dates from 1895. From peek (v.) + boo.
peel (v.) Look up peel at
"to strip off," developed from Old English pilian "to peel, skin, decorticate, strip the skin or ring," and Old French pillier, both from Latin pilare "to strip of hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Probably also influenced by Latin pellis "skin, hide." Related: Peeled; peeling. Figurative expression keep (one's) eyes peeled be observant, be on the alert" is from 1853, American English.
peel (n.2) Look up peel at
"shovel-shaped instrument" used by bakers, etc., c. 1400, from Old French pele (Modern French pelle) "shovel," from Latin pala "spade, shovel, baker's peel," of unknown origin.
peel (n.1) Look up peel at
piece of rind or skin, 1580s, from earlier pill, pile (late 14c.), from peel (v.)).
peel out (v.) Look up peel out at
hot-rodders' slang, 1952, perhaps from peel "blade or wash of an oar" (1875, American English), earlier "shovel-shaped instrument" (see peel (n.2). Or it might be from aircraft pilot phrase peel off "veer away from formation" (World War II), or from earlier American English slang peel it "run away at full speed" (1860).
peeler (n.) Look up peeler at
"policeman," 1817, British colloquial, originally a member of the Irish constabulary, named for Sir (at that time Mr.) Robert Peel (1788-1850) who founded the Irish Constabulary (compare bobby). In Middle English it meant "robber, thief" (mid-14c.). Meaning "strip-tease artist" (1951) is from peel (v.) in colloquial sense of "strip off clothing" (1820).
peen (n.) Look up peen at
1680s, "sharp or thin end of a hammer head, opposite the face," probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal penn "peen," Old Swedish pæna "beat iron thin with a hammer"). Earlier as a verb, "to beat thin with a hammer" (1510s).
peep (v.1) Look up peep at
"glance" (especially through a small opening), mid-15c., perhaps alteration of Middle English piken (see peek (v.)). Peeping Tom "a curious prying fellow" [Grose] is from 1796 (see Godiva).
peep (v.2) Look up peep at
"make a short chirp," c. 1400, probably altered from pipen (mid-13c.), ultimately imitative (compare Latin pipare, French pepier, German piepen, Lithuanian pypti, Czech pipati, Greek pipos).
peep (n.2) Look up peep at
"short chirp," early 15c., from peep (v.2); meaning "slightest sound or utterance" (usually in a negative context) is attested from 1903. Meaning "young chicken" is from 1680s. The marshmallow peeps confection are said to date from 1950s.
peep (n.1) Look up peep at
1520s, first in sense found in peep of day, from peep (v.1); meaning "a furtive glance" is first recorded 1730.
peep-hole (n.) Look up peep-hole at
1680s, from peep (v.1) + hole (n.).
peep-show (n.) Look up peep-show at
1851 (not typically salacious until c. 1914), from peep (v.1) + show (n.).
peepee Look up peepee at
1923, childish reduplication of pee.
peeper (n.) Look up peeper at
1650s, "one who peeps," agent noun from peep (v.1). Slang meaning "eye" is c. 1700. From 1590s as "young chicken" and 1857 as "tree frog" (American English), both from peep (v.2).
peer (n.) Look up peer at
c. 1300, "an equal in rank or status" (early 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Anglo-French peir, Old French per (10c.), from Latin par "equal" (see par (n.)). Sense of "a noble" (late 14c.) is from Charlemagne's Twelve Peers in the old romances, who, like the Arthurian knights of the Round Table, originally were so called because all were equal. Sociological sense of "one of the same age group or social set" is from 1944. Peer review attested by 1970. Peer pressure is first recorded 1971.
peer (v.) Look up peer at
"to look closely," 1590s, variant of piren (late 14c.), with a long -i-, probably related to or from East Frisian piren "to look," of uncertain origin. Influenced in form and sense by Middle English peren (late 14c.), shortened form of aperen (see appear). Related: Peered; peering.
peerage (n.) Look up peerage at
mid-15c., "peers collectively," from peer (n.) + -age. Probably on model of Old French parage.