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piker

[pahy-ker]
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noun Informal.
  1. a person who does anything in a contemptibly small or cheap way.
  2. a stingy, tight-fisted person; tightwad.
  3. a person who gambles, speculates, etc., in a small, cautious way.
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Origin of piker

1275–1325; Middle English: petty thief, equivalent to pik(en) to pick1 + -er1; compare dial. (N England, Scots, Hiberno-English) pike to pick1

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

deserterdropoutgoldbrickwimpslackershirkergoof-offtightwadScroogeskinflintgoldbrickerpiker

Examples from the Web for piker

Historical Examples

  • Siebold, who really was no piker, was slipping on his gloves and having them laced up.

    Radio Boys Loyalty

    Wayne Whipple

  • No wonder you don't want to stop for any of this piker stuff.

    It Pays to Smile

    Nina Wilcox Putnam

  • "That was a piker's trick—listening in on me, Dick," he remonstrated half-impatiently.

    Pirates' Hope

    Francis Lynde

  • "I called for a sport and drew a piker," Jim Searles retorted.

    Cappy Ricks Retires

    Peter B. Kyne

  • He thinks he's been a piker and that you and I are his first-assistant pikers.

    Cappy Ricks Retires

    Peter B. Kyne


British Dictionary definitions for piker

piker

noun slang
  1. Australian a wild bullock
  2. Australian and NZ a useless person; failure
  3. US, Australian and NZ a lazy person; shirker
  4. a mean person
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Word Origin

C19: perhaps related to pike ³
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for piker

n.

"miserly person," 1872, formerly "poor migrant to California" (1860), earlier pike (1854), perhaps originally "vagrant who wanders the pike (n.1)" (which is the notion in Sussex dialectal piker "vagrant, tramp, gypsy," 1838), but Barnhart, OED and others suggest the American English word ultimately is a reference to people from Pike County, Missouri.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper