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 Craig, I believe you are glad your father has come back," cried the Story Girl.
We were all glad for Peter's sake, though a little dizzy over the unexpectedness of it all.
Peter Winn, RESPECTABLE SIR: It was me that fixed yr sisters house.
Peter Winn was ready to acknowledge himself beaten.
"What is that to the purpose?" exclaimed Peter, loftily.
Tabitha well understood that Peter had reference to an immense hoard of the precious metals, which was said to exist somewhere in the cellar or walls, or under the floors, or in some concealed closet, or other out-of-the-way nook of the house.
McGREGOR was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the toolshed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower-pot.
AND tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants.
"Tis true, 'said Peter,' I'm alive: I keep my station in the world: Once in the week I just contrive To get my whiskers oiled and curled.
Weeks grew to months, and months to years: Peter was worn to skin and bone: And once he even said, with tears,
Peter could be exceeding polite also, having learned the grand manner at fairy ceremonies, and he rose and bowed to her beautifully.
She was already sure that he must be Peter, but it did seem a comparatively short name.
When a real bird falls in flop, he spreads out his feathers and pecks them dry, but Peter could not remember what was the thing to do, and he decided, rather sulkily, to go to sleep on the weeping beech in the Baby Walk.
Peter also felt strangely uncomfortable, as if his head was stuffy, he heard loud noises that made him look round sharply, though they were really himself sneezing.
After he had shown us his garden, Peter trundled a load of watermelons up the hill in his wheelbarrow.