Peck's bad boy


Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Peck's bad boy

Someone who engages in dangerous, mischievous, or lewd behavior. An allusion to a fictional character created by George Wilbur Peck in 1883. His reputation as Peck's bad boy was well known throughout the company, but the fact that he made us so much money made him untouchable for nearly 40 years. It baffles me that we still romanticize this image of Peck's bad boy—someone sticking their middle finger up at common decency—as if it's something we should admire.
See also: bad, boy

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