peter


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 lights 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

To be borrowing or taking 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

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

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 ?
Gorgeous that night were the dreams of Peter Goldthwaite
Peter saw piles of yellow and musty account-books, in parchment covers, wherein creditors, long dead and buried, had written the names of dead and buried debtors in ink now so faded that their moss-grown tombstones were more legible.
The good work being thus commenced, Peter beat down all before him, smiting and hewing at the joists and timbers, unclinching spike-nails, ripping and tearing away boards, with a tremendous racket, from morning till night.
Never, in any of his vagaries, though each had made him happy while it lasted, had Peter been happier than now.
When people in our set are introduced, it is customary for them to ask each other's age, and so Wendy, who always liked to do the correct thing, asked Peter how old he was.
The sound come from the chest of drawers, and Peter made a merry face.
O Peter," she cried, "if she would only stand still and let me see her
Tink," said Peter amiably, "this lady says she wishes you were her fairy.
said Solomon a little cruelly, and Peter saw to his consternation, that all his toes were fingers.
Ruffle your feathers," said that grim old Solomon, and Peter tried most desperately hard to ruffle his feathers, but he had none.
I suppose," said Peter huskily, "I suppose I can still fly?
He promised very kindly, however, to teach Peter as many of the bird ways as could be learned by one of such an awkward shape.
Peter Winn, RESPECTABLE SIR: It was me that fixed yr sisters house.
The detectives were powerless, and Peter did not know where next the man would strike--perhaps at the lives of those near and dear to him.
Hold on, father, don't send that money," said Peter Winn, Junior.