Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to peck: bushel and a peck
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
bushel and a peck (and some in a gourd)
A lot. This phrase is typically used to emphasize how much one loves someone else. My darling wife, I love you a bushel and a peck.
slang The neck. The phrase comes from rhyming slang in which "Gregory Peck" rhymes with "neck." (Gregory Peck was a US actor in the mid-20th century.) Primarily heard in UK. Here, take a scarf! It's too cold to go out with your Gregory Peck bare.
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
Short for "pectoral muscle," one of the two large, flat muscles that go across one's chest. Typically used in the plural. Wow, my pecs are really sore after that workout!
peck (something) out
1. Literally, to remove something by forcibly and violently pecking at it. We were horrified to see that the birds had pecked his eyes out by the time we arrived.
2. To type something on a typewriter or keyboard by slowly and carefully finding and hitting individual keys. This is why I write everything by hand—it took me nearly half an hour to peck out a formal response on this damned computer! I sat staring off into space before I pecked three words out: "This is rubbish."
To eat something at a slow, unenthusiastic pace in very small bites. I wonder if Mary isn't feeling well—she only pecked at her dinner. He sat moodily at the table, pecking at the plate of vegetables his parent put in front of him.
Of a bird, to peck something in order to eat it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "peck" and "up." I love scattering seeds on our back porch and watching all sorts of different birds come by to peck them up. A little finch hopped over and began pecking up the crumbs from our sandwiches.
The hierarchy within a group or organization. There's definitely a pecking order in this company, and you're not going to do well if you don't know your place.
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.
we (all) have to eat a peck of dirt before we die
Eating a small amount of dirty food or being briefly exposed to slightly unsanitary conditions won't be harmful to one in the long run. Tom is so paranoid about keeping the house spotlessly clean, so I always tell him that we have to eat a peck of dirt before we die. A: "Can I have another apple? Mine fell on the floor." B: " Oh just go on and eat the one you've got—we all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die."
you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die
Eating a small amount of dirty food or being briefly exposed to slightly unsanitary conditions won't be harmful to one in the long run. Tom is so paranoid about keeping the house spotlessly clean, so I always tell him that you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die. A: "Can I have another apple? Mine fell on the floor." B: "Go on and eat the one you've got—you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die."
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
the pecking order
COMMON The pecking order in a group is the order of importance of the people or things within that group. Offices came in 29 sizes, according to your place in the company's pecking order. The British Medical Association issued a warning that doctors may be forced to draw up a pecking order of operations. Note: When groups of hens are kept together, a `pecking order' tends to form. This means that a stronger bird can peck a weaker bird without being pecked in return.
pecking ordera hierarchy of status observed among a group of people or animals.
The expression originally referred literally to chickens and other birds, the more dominant of which in a group get to feed before the others.
a/the ˈpecking order(informal, often humorous) the way a group is organized, with some members being more important or powerful than others: You don’t get a company car unless you’re pretty high up in the pecking order.This expression was first used by a scientist in the 1920s after studying groups of birds; he noticed there was an order when birds were feeding, with the strongest birds eating first.
To eat something unenthusiastically by taking small bites: The sullen child only pecked at his carrots.
To remove something by pecking: The birds pecked the worms out of the apples. The vultures pecked out the dead rabbit's innards.
pecksand pecs and pects (pɛk(t)s)
n. the pectoral muscles. (From weightlifting and bodybuilding.) Look at the pecks on that guy!
The hierarchy of authority in a group. The term was invented by biologists in the 1920s to characterize the behavior of hens, who established their barnyard authority by one bird pecking another of lower status. It was transferred to human behavior in the mid-1900s. Lawrence Durrell maintained, “There is a pecking order among diplomats as there is among poultry” (Justine, 1957).
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.