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henpeck (someone)

Of a woman, to thoroughly and continually dominate, intimidate, bully, or browbeat (a man), especially her boyfriend, partner, or husband. Janet is usually so nice, but when she's around her husband, she just henpecks him relentlessly.
See also: henpeck


Of a man, thoroughly and continually dominated, intimidated, bullied, or browbeaten by a woman, especially his wife or girlfriend. John used to be the most adventurous, spontaneous guy I knew, but since he got married, he's become totally henpecked. I hope I never become some henpecked husband like my father was.
See also: henpeck

bushel and a peck (and some in a gourd)

Rur. a great deal or amount. (Usually used to answer the question, "How much do you love me?") Mary: How much do you love me? Tom: A bushel and a peck and some in a gourd. We knew that Grandpa loved us a bushel and a peck.
See also: and, bushel, peck

If that don't beat a pig a-pecking!

Rur. That's amazing! Tom: A Republican won the Senate seat! Jane: If that don't beat a pig a-pecking! Mary: Jim lost twenty pounds in one month. Charlie: If that don't beat a pig a-pecking!
See also: beat, if, pig

peck at something

1. Lit. [for a bird] to poke someone or something with its beak. The bird pecked at the ground, snatching up the ants. I tried to hold on to the bird but it pecked at me hard.
2. Fig. [for someone] to eat just a little bit of something, being as picky as a bird. Are you well, Betty? You are just pecking at your food. Please don't peck at your food. You should eat everything.
See also: peck

peck something up

[for a bird] to eat something up by pecking at it. The chickens pecked all the grain up. The birds pecked up the grain.
See also: peck, up

You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die.

Prov. No one can escape eating a certain amount of dirt on his or her food.; Everyone must endure a number of unpleasant things in his or her lifetime. (Often said to console someone who has eaten some dirt or had to endure something unpleasant.) Ellen: Oh, no! I forgot to wash this apple before I took a bite out of it. Fred: You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die.
See also: before, die, dirt, eat, have, of, peck

a pecking order

the order of importance of the people in a group or an organization There's a clearly established pecking order in this office.
See also: order, peck

pecking order

The hierarchy of authority in a group, as in On a space mission, the astronauts have a definite pecking order. This expression, invented in the 1920s by biologists who discovered that domestic poultry maintain such a hierarchy with one bird pecking another of lower status, was transferred to human behavior in the 1950s.
See also: order, peck

peck at

To eat something unenthusiastically by taking small bites: The sullen child only pecked at his carrots.
See also: peck

peck out

To remove something by pecking: The birds pecked the worms out of the apples. The vultures pecked out the dead rabbit's innards.
See also: out, peck


and pecs and pects (pɛk(t)s)
n. the pectoral muscles. (From weightlifting and bodybuilding.) Look at the pecks on that guy!
See also: peck

Peck's bad boy

A mischief maker. “Peck's Bad Boy'' was the nickname of Hennery, a character created by 19th-century newspaperman George Wilbur Peck. Hennery played pranks on friends, neighbors, and especially his alcoholic father. These stories were later compiled into books, and the character of Hennery appeared in a number of early motion pictures. The phrase “Peck's bad boy'' was applied to someone, usually a youngster, whose impish behavior plagued those around him.
See also: bad, boy
References in classic literature ?
But the sparrow crept under the tilt of the cart, and pecked at the bung of one of the casks till she loosened it; and than all the wine ran out, without the carter seeing it.
In vain she nibbled at the bread and butter and pecked at the crab-apple preserve out of the little scalloped glass dish by her plate.
And she picked and pecked until Grandfather King declared he would like to throw something at her.
They stood and looked in my eye or pecked at my shoe significantly.
He now fluttered down into the grass, turned his head gracefully on every side, and with his bill pecked the pliant blades of grass, which, in comparison to his present size, seemed as majestic as the palm-branches of northern Africa.
They pecked and pecked so hard at that enormous nose that in a few moments, it was the same size as before.
always found out some day or other and pecked out of the cage by the real daws.