put somebody’s pecker up

Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

He thinks he can do what he likes with me, I am not quite sure of that, if he puts up my pecker.

put somebody’s pecker up = put someone’s back, ruffle someone’s temper, try someone’s patience

Thank you for your efforts.

Yes. You know it is obscene, I hope (unless Beesnees has a more arcane etymology).

As it happens…

Keep (as I know the phrase, rather than ‘put’) you pecker up
Meaning: Remain cheerful - keep your head held high.

Origin: Whilst pecker is a word now associated with American slang the usage here is the English pecker, i.e. nose or mouth, as opposed to the American, i.e. penis. The phrase is equivalent to keep your chin up.
The pecker is generally thought of as the mouth, although the earliest known use of the word in this phrase clearly alludes to the nose. The imagery is of a bird that pecks for food. That citation is from The Times, September 1845:
“Mr. King… misstated the fact in saying that he had put a piece of lighted paper to the master’s nose while asleep in that house; it was his hot pipe that he applied to the sleeper’s nostrils, at the same time crying: Come, old chap, keep your pecker up.”

Keep your pecker up
Meaning: Gather up your courage or keep a stiff upper lip.
Origin: NB: This is NOT an X-rated phrase! Pecker here refers not to the penis (as many believe), but to the lip. Pecker has been slang for lip, corresponding to the beak (or pecker) of a bird, since the 19th Century. One of the earliest recorded uses of the phrase is British (1853): “Keep up your pecker, old fellow.”
Alternative: This phrase refers to a gamecock’s bill - the bird’s bill (or pecker) sinking lower toward the ground as he grows more tired and near defeat.

Keeping your pecker up, means to stay cheerful and not lose heart- a bit like ‘ don’t panic and just carry on ‘. Pecker, in this case means nose, mouth or beak – the thing a bird pecks with (as in woodpecker) By keeping your pecker up, you also keep your head up, which helps people look and feel more optimistic.
Keeping your chin up is another version of this phrase and probably the best one to use if you’re unsure of your audience as for some, pecker refers to an entirely different part of the body!
socyberty.com/languages/are-you- … pecker-up/

Hi Beeesneees,

Thank you for your comprehensive explanation.


I’m sure that you’ll have noticed that it’s not advisable to use in all situations because of the confusion about its origins.