"I'm destined to live the dream for all my peeps who never made it."
-- Nas, Illmatic, Life's a Bitch

A slang term, popular in America in the 1990s and 2000s. Peeps is a shortening of 'people', or possibly 'peoples'. It implies not just people, but your people; your friends, gang, buddies, your mates. It seems to have entered mainstream usage in the rap song Life's a Bitch by Nas (1994), although it had been around before that.

In some cases, peeps will be used to mean people, both friends and strangers. This usage seems to be most common on-line, in chat rooms and such. Probably this is only done by uncool people. I don't advise it.

"Hello, matey peeps"
-- Harry Enfield

In the 1980s British comedian Harry Enfield created another of his trademark characters. This one was Stavros, a Greek restaurateur who spoke in fractured English. One of his trademark catchphrases was to introduce himself with the words "Hello peeps!" This may be the first recorded use of peeps as a shortening of people (in the general sense, rather than the 'good friends' sense). This could theoretically be the origin of the American slang term, although no one seems to endorse that theory. But it does mean that nerdy suburbanites can use the word peeps without compromising their own particular idiom.

Props to my peeps.


References:
Yes, I use references to node urban slang. Pasty white people. Oy.
urbandictionary.com
ask.yahoo.com/20050401.html
http://www.pugetsoundcenter.org/techREACH/mentors/docs/E-mailSlang.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peeps
http://www.jumptheshark.com/h/harryenfieldandchums.htm
Thanks to Wertperch for pointing me to Harry Enfield.

Peep (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Peeped (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Peeping.] [Of imitative origin; cf. OE. pipen, F. piper, p'epier, L. pipire, pipare, pipiare, D. & G. piepen. Senses 2 and 3 perhaps come from a transfer of sense from the sound which chickens make upon the first breaking of the shell to the act accompanying it; or perhaps from the influence of peek, or peak. Cf. Pipe.]

1.

To cry, as a chicken hatching or newly hatched; to chirp; to cheep.

There was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. Is. x. 14.

2.

To begin to appear; to look forth from concealment; to make the first appearance.

When flowers first peeped, and trees did blossoms bear. Dryden.

3.

To look cautiously or slyly; to peer, as through a crevice; to pry.

eep through the blanket of the dark. Shak.

From her cabined loophole peep. Milton.

Peep sight, an adjustable piece, pierced with a small hole to peep through in aiming, attached to a rifle or other firearm near the breech.

 

© Webster 1913.


Peep (?), n.

1.

The cry of a young chicken; a chirp.

2.

First outlook or appearance.

Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn. Gray.

3.

A sly look; a look as through a crevice, or from a place of concealment.

To take t' other peep at the stars. Swift.

4. Zool. (a)

Any small sandpiper, as the least sandpiper (Trigna minutilla).

(b)

The European meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis).

Peep show, a small show, or object exhibited, which is viewed through an orifice or a magnifying glass. -- Peep-o'-day boys, the Irish insurgents of 1784; -- so called from their visiting the house of the loyal Irish at day break in search of arms. [Cant]

 

© Webster 1913.

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