keep your pecker up
keep (one's) pecker up
To maintain an optimistic, hopeful, or happy outlook on life, especially in the face of hardship or misfortune. Although "pecker" is a slang term for the penis, in this phrase it refers to the nose, by analogy with a beak. I know it's been a rough few months, but you have to keep your pecker up if you want things to improve! Come on, keep your pecker up, mate! There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
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keep your pecker upBRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone tells you to keep your pecker up, they are encouraging you remain cheerful in a difficult situation. This phase will soon pass; keep you pecker up, be careful and think hard. Note: You can also say that someone keeps their pecker up if they manage to remain cheerful. The Scot was doing his best to keep his pecker up. Note: `Pecker' was a slang term for the nose, comparing it to a bird's beak. If someone is unhappy, they tend to look downwards so that their nose points towards the ground.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
keep your pecker upremain cheerful. British informal
Pecker is probably being used here in the sense of ‘a bird's beak or bill’, and by extension ‘a person's face or expression’. The phrase has been current in British English since the mid 19th century, but it has rather different connotations in the US, where pecker is an informal term for penis .
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