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Posted by ESC on November 11, 2003

In Reply to: Pushing peeps in the creek. posted by R. Berg on November 11, 2003

: : I don't know if anyone is still giving their opinions on phrases, but here's one I have been unable to find anything about.
: : My grandmother, who died in 1973, used this one when someone would ask her to do something that she felt was asking a little too much.
: : "You wouldn't push peeps in the creek, would you?"
: : Any thoughts, by anyone?

: The phrase people are still here. The site owner started a new discussion page today. Past opinions are archived.

: Grandmother may have been using "peeps" as slang for "people."

What region was your grandmother from? Peeps are sandpipers, after the sound they make, according to The Yankee Talk section of "Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms: Local Expressions from Coast to Coast" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000). "Peep of day" is dawn. Same source.

I'll have to wait until after I open my Christmas presents to look it up in the Dictionary of American Regional English. The volumes I have now don't go up to P.

Or could "peeps" be baby chicks? You wouldn't push chicks in the creek, like you would ducklings, and you wouldn't make an inappropriate or overly demanding request.