"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 10 July 2009


Peep is a word (both a verb and a noun) with a variety of meanings to which a new one has been recently added. Its meanings include to look furtively; make high-pitched sounds (especially of young birds); speak in a hesitant and high-pitched tone of voice; to appear as though from hiding; to peek; and to take a secret look.

"He peeped at the woman through the window." "The newly hatched birds uttered their little peeps in the nest." "The new moon peeped through the tree tops."

When people utter swear words before the watershed time on British television their swearing is often deleted and a peep sound put in its place. As a result the word peep has become an alternative word for a bad person - the sort one would describe with a swear word if one were less delicate.

Hence, "The skip needed to be filled as soon as possible because we didn't want other irresponsible peeps out there putting items in our skip." (Dewi)

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