peter


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Peter Pan syndrome

A psychological state or condition in which a grown person cannot or refuses to act like an adult; a stubborn and persistent immaturity found in an adult person. I seem cursed to only find men who have some damned Peter Pan syndrome. I'm tired of going out with guys who act like children!
See also: pan, peter, syndrome

hoist the blue peter

To leave or prepare to leave. This nautical term refers to the blue and white flag that sailors would hoist before departing from a location. Hoist the blue peter, gentleman, so we can set sail!
See also: blue, hoist, peter

peter out

To dwindle, diminish, or fade away; to be used up or exhausted. His campaign started really strong, but following a series of scandals, public support for the candidate petered out and he never got off the ground. The light on my bike began to peter out, so I had to stop and change the batteries.
See also: out, peter

rob Peter to pay Paul

To borrow or take money from one person or source to fund or repay the debt of another. Mr. Hardy's law firm has fallen into arrears of late, and he's been robbing Peter to pay Paul just to keep the business afloat. Never use a credit card to pay a debt—that's just robbing Peter to pay Paul!
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

be robbing Peter to pay Paul

1. To be borrowing or taking money from one source to fund or repay the debt of another. The phrase refers to the Christian leaders Peter and Paul, who were both prominent figures in the early church. Never use a credit card to pay a debt—that's just robbing Peter to pay Paul!
2. To be shifting resources from one part of an organization or entity to another, often needlessly or inefficiently. When we make each department pay rent for their facilities, it seems a bit like we're robbing Peter to pay Paul—it's all the same organization, after all.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

Peter Jay

slang A police officer, or the police in general. I can't even walk down the street these days without Peter Jay hassling me for no damn reason!
See also: jay, peter

peter out

[for something] to die or dwindle away; [for something] to become exhausted gradually. When the fire petered out, I went to bed. My money finally petered out, and I had to come home.
See also: out, peter

rob Peter to pay Paul

Fig. to take or borrow from one in order to give or pay something owed to another. Why borrow money to pay your bills? That's just robbing Peter to pay Paul. There's no point in robbing Peter to pay Paul. You will still be in debt.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

Pete

peter out

Dwindle or diminish and come to an end, as in Their enthusiasm soon petered out. The origin of this usage is unknown, but one authority suggests it may refer to the apostle Peter, whose enthusiastic support of Jesus quickly diminished so that he denied knowing him three times during the night after Jesus's arrest. [Mid-1800s]
See also: out, peter

rob Peter to pay Paul

Take from one to give to another, shift resources. For example, They took out a second mortgage on their house so they could buy a condo in Florida-they're robbing Peter to pay Paul . Although legend has it that this expression alludes to appropriating the estates of St. Peter's Church, in Westminster, London, to pay for the repairs of St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1800s, the saying first appeared in a work by John Wycliffe about 1382.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

be robbing Peter to pay Paul

If someone is robbing Peter to pay Paul, they are using money that is meant for one thing to pay for something else. I have not starved yet but I am very conscious of failing to pay back debts, of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

take something away from one person to pay another, leaving the former at a disadvantage; discharge one debt only to incur another.
This expression probably arose in reference to the saints and apostles Peter and Paul , who are often shown together as equals in Christian art and who therefore may be presumed to be equally deserving of honour and devotion. It is uncertain whether a specific allusion is intended; variants of the phrase include unclothe Peter and clothe Paul and borrow from Peter to pay Paul .
1997 New Scientist So far, NASA has been able to rob Peter to pay Paul, taking money from the shuttle and science programmes to keep the ISS on track.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob ˌPeter to pay ˈPaul

(saying) take money from one area and spend it in another: Government spending on education has not increased. Some areas have improved, but only as a result of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

peter out

v.
1. To cause someone to lose all energy; tire someone out: That long run petered me out. You'll get petered out if you work too fast.
2. To lose all energy; tire out: I petered out toward the end and lost the race.
3. To diminish slowly and come to an end; dwindle: The flow of water petered out as the valves were closed.
See also: out, peter

peter

n. the penis. Stop scratching your peter in public!

Peter Jay

n. a nickname for a police officer. You walk straight, or Peter Jay is going to bust you.
See also: jay, peter

peter out

in. to give out; to wear out. What’ll we do when the money peters out?
See also: out, peter

rob Peter to pay Paul

To incur a debt in order to pay off another debt.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul, to

To take funds from one source in order to pay another; to shift a debt. According to legend, the abbey church of St. Peter’s, in Westminster, was made into a cathedral in 1540, but ten years later it was joined to the diocese of London and many of its estates were appropriated to pay for the repairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral; hence St. Peter was “robbed” for the sake of St. Paul. Appealing as this source for the cliché may be, the expression actually was first used by John Wycliffe about 1340, when he wrote, “How should God approve that you rob Peter and give this robbery to Paul in the name of Christ?” In the mid-1950s George J. Hecht, founder and publisher of Parents Magazine, went to Washington to lobby—in the morning for lower postal rates for magazine publishers, and in the afternoon for larger appropriations to the Children’s Bureau, whereupon he was accused of trying to rob both Peter and Paul.
See also: pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

Use funds from one source to repay a debt. If you use one credit card to pay off another, even if you're benefiting by buying time, you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. How the phrase came to be associated with what would seem to be the two apostles is a mystery, since neither was associated with precarious financial planning.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob
References in classic literature ?
Peter," said Tabitha, puffing and panting with her late gymnastics, "as fast as you tear the house down, I'll make a fire with the pieces."
Gorgeous that night were the dreams of Peter Goldthwaite!
McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care.
PETER never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.
'Not so,' was Peter's mild reply, His cheeks all wet with grateful tears; No man recalls, so well as I, Your services in bygone years: And this new offer, I admit, Is very very kindly meant-- Still, to avail myself of it Would not be quite convenient!'
"I shall sew it on for you, my little man," she said, though he was tall as herself, and she got out her housewife [sewing bag], and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot.
"Oh, I shan't cry," said Peter, who was already of the opinion that he had never cried in his life.
To Peter's bewilderment he discovered that every fairy he met fled from him.
Poor little Peter Pan, he sat down and cried, and even then he did not know that, for a bird, he was sitting on his wrong part.
When we got up to go, Peter looked about in perplexity for something that would entertain us.
Before we left, Peter put ripe cucumbers into a sack for Mrs.
We were all glad for Peter's sake, though a little dizzy over the unexpectedness of it all.
"This is what I'D like to know," said Peter. "How did Peg Bowen know my father was coming home?
But Peter Winn was a very busy man, with such large plans in his head and with so many reins in his hands that he quickly forgot the incident.
Yet, in the early morning Peter Winn learned by telephone that his sister's home in Alameda had been burned to the ground.