Friday, September 18, 2015

Word of the day: piker

The word of the day is piker:

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

"'Isn't it nice something isn't silver?  Would you like me to look like Don Pedro?  He makes Clarence King look like a piker, doesn't he?" 

 - Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

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