Etymology
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pep (n.)

"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.

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peppy (adj.)
"full of pep," 1915, from pep + -y (2).
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pepsin (n.)

also pepsine, "fermin found in gastric juice, used medicinally for cases of indigestion," 1844, coined in German (Theodor Schwann, 1835) from Greek pepsis "digestion; a cooking," from stem pep- (see peptic) + -in (2).

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peptide (n.)

"short chain of amino acids linked by amide bonds," 1906, from German peptid (1902); see peptone + -ide, here probably indicating a derivative. Related: Peptidic.

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pepper (v.)

"to sprinkle as with pepper," 1610s, from pepper (n.). Old English had gepipera. Meaning "to pelt with shot, etc.; hit with what pains or annoys" is from 1640s. Related: Peppered; peppering.

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peptic (adj.)

1650s, "of or pertaining to the function of digestion;" 1660s, "promoting digestion," from Latin pepticus, from Greek peptikos "able to digest," from peptos "cooked, digested," verbal adjective of peptein "to cook" (from PIE root *pekw- "to cook, ripen").

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pepper-caster (n.)

"pepper-box," 1670s, from pepper (n.) + caster (n.1). As a colloquial term for an early and clumsy form of revolver with a long cylinder, by 1889.

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pepperidge (n.)

"black gum tree, tupelo," 1680s, American English, a word of obscure origin.

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peppercorn (n.)

"dried pepper berry," late Old English piporcorn, from pepper (n.) + corn (n.1). Used figuratively for "small particle, insignificant quality" by 1791.

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pepper (n.)

"dried berries of the pepper plant," Middle English peper, from Old English pipor, from an early West Germanic borrowing of Latin piper "pepper," from Greek piperi, probably (via Persian) from Middle Indic pippari, from Sanskrit pippali "long pepper." The Latin word is the source of German Pfeffer, Italian pepe, French poivre, Old Church Slavonic pipru, Lithuanian pipiras, Old Irish piobhar, Welsh pybyr, etc.

Application to fruits of the Capsicum family (unrelated, originally native of tropical America) is from 16c. To have pepper in the nose in Middle English was "to be supercilious or unapproachable."

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