Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pippin n.

[SE pippin, the name of various types of apple]

1. a pej. term of address or description.

[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk IV 99: Thou’rt a precious Pippin, / To think to steel so slily from me.
[UK]T. Brown Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 28: A damn’d unlucky pippin made him save himself after he had lost his money.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 49: pippin, n. An opprobrious epithet.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 210: I’m a mangy dog if you ain’t a pippin! I believe you just naturally like to hurt people.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘The English Way’ in Awfully Big Adventure (1919) 248: Read that, my pippin.

2. (also pipkin, pippins) a term of approval or congratulation, applied to a person; thus affectionate term of address my pippin.

[UK]D’Urfey Comical Hist. of Don Quixote Pt 3 I i: I think she’s a Maid [...] I don’t love a Pippin that other Folks have handled.
[UK]T. Brown Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 28: A damn’d unlucky pippin made him save himself after he had lost his money.
[UK]Penkethman’s Jests 114: He was a precious Pippin.
[UK] Song No. 19 Papers of Francis Place (1819) n.p.: The Blowens all adozine[?] him and say he is the Pippin O.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry II v: Go it, my pippins.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 25: Pippin – funny fellow, friendly way of expressing one’s self, as ‘How are you, my Pippin?’.
[UK]C. Selby London By Night I ii: Come along, my pippin, here’s prog and gatter in galore for an old pal.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Sept. 2/5: Come on, my pippin, I’ve just come out in fighting trim, and am all ready for you.
[UK] in G.D. Atkin House Scraps (1887) 25: I’ll lay you a tenner, my pippin, / You’ll repent when you’ve once got a wife.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor (1968) III 116/2: Hallo! my pippin; here, I want you.
[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 173: Hullo, Richard, my pipkin! You are the cove I want.
[UK] ‘’Arry on His ’Oliday’ in Punch 13 Oct. 161/1: That’s wot I call ’oliday-making, my pippin. I wish you was here.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the Sincerest Form of Flattery’ in Punch 20 Sept. 144/2: All along o’ the parrots, my pippin.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo 55: Good on yer, my pippin.
[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 138: It was often remarked that Marie was a Pippin. Her date Book had to be kept on the Double Entry System.
[US] in W.C. Fields By Himself (1974) 23: I am waiting anxiously to get a photo of him, he must be a pippin.
[UK]Magnet 7 Mar. 7: You shall have the locket, my pippin.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 279: As neat a job as I ever see. He must be an old hand, this guy—a reg’lar pippin!
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘That which Remained’ in Naval Occasions 95: He even brought the Fairest of All the Pippins, but the boy shrank a little from the tell-tale tremor she could never quite keep out of her voice.
[Can]R. Service ‘The Odyssey of ’Erbert ’Iggins’ in Rhymes of a Red Cross Man 47: Don’t be oneasy, my pippin, / I’m goin’ to pilot you in.
[US]H.L. Wilson Merton of the Movies 278: ‘Go to it, old Pippin,’ rejoined his daughter.
[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 47: She’s a pippin, that’s what she is.
[US]A. Halper Foundry 57: That’s the young woman who works in the foundry; a pippin!
[US]F. Brookhouser Now I Lay Me Down 13: She was, shall we say, MISS PIPPIN of 1950.

3. a perfect example of whatever is under discussion; usu. as it’s a pippin.

[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 57: I touched Johnny Black’s brother-in-law for fifty, and gave an informal luncheon that was a pippin.
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 16: But ain’t it a pippin?
[US]C. Sandburg letter 23 July in Mitgang (1968) 113: That’s a pippin of a review.
[US]S. Ornitz Haunch Paunch and Jowl 205: He had stolen the best styles, pippins, sure-sellers.
[UK]S. Horler London’s Und. 66: A tale of glittering gauds and rich in the best criminal lore. In fact, a pippin!
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 37: I’ve seen a photograph of her [...] and she’s a pippin.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 6: A pippin, if ever there was one.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 24 July 1: A pippin of an Adam’s apple.

4. attrib. use of sense 3, first-rate.

[US]T.H. Kelly What Outfit, Buddy? 33: Golly! it must be pippin stuff to have a sister like that.

5. a loved one.

[UK]Gem 17 Oct. 5: Follow your uncle, my pippins!

6. the female breast.

[US]T. Wolfe Look Homeward, Angel (1930) 243: B’God [...] she’s got a pair of pippins.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 20: They wore North High Redskin shirts [...] the Indian barely bent by their budding pippins.