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REH Word of the Week: piker


-noun [slang]
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.

[Origin: 1275-1325; Middle English: petty thief, equiv. to pik(en) to pick + -er.] In America, dates from 1860s when poor migrants from Pike County, Missouri traveled to California.]


“I’m through and I’m takin’ down my stake! You gits no more of my money, damn you!”

“Why, you cheap-heeled piker!” I roared. “I thought you was a sport, even if you was a hossthief, but–“

[from “Evil Deeds at Red Cougar”]