"vigor, energy," 1912, shortened form of pepper (n.), which was used in the figurative sense of "spirit, energy" from at least 1847. Pep rally "meeting to inspire enthusiasm" is attested from 1915; pep talk is from 1926. To pep (something) up "fill or inspire with vigor or energy" is from 1925.
c. 1200, "to lessen the vigor, activity, or sensitiveness of" (transitive), from dull (adj.). Of pointed or edged things, "make less sharp, render blunt," from late 14c. Of colors, glass, etc., "remove the brightness or clearness of," late 14c. Intransitive sense of "lose vigor, intensity, or keenness" is from late 14c. Related: Dulled; dulling.
"the act of depriving a male of the function which characterizes the sex; castration," also more generally "the act of depriving of vigor or strength," 1620s, noun of action from emasculate.