Green’s Dictionary of Slang

peddler n.

also pedlar, pedler

1. (US) a seller of counterfeit money.

[US]Sun (NY) 20 Mar. 1/1: ‘Did you expect $100 counterfeit money?’ Peddler — I expected $100 [...] ‘Did you bargain for [...] this $100 in counterfeit money?’.
Empire News (KS) 4 Feb. 3/1: The ‘detective’ wh claimed to have arrested [...] a peddler here for passing counterfeit money, turned out to be a base fraud and a dead beat.

2. a male prostitute.

[UK]B. Niles Strange Brother (1932) 274: That’s what they call a male prostitute, call him a peddler, and I was no peddler.

3. (also dope peddler) a drug seller.

Dly Press (Newport News, VA) 15 July 2/2: Alleged ‘Dope’ Peddler [...] A young negro was arrested [...] on a charge of selling cocaine.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 14 Oct. 13/1: Wouldn’t a lynching of the dope peddler be better calculated to protect society.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 10 Jan. 12/1: Catch Alleged Dope Peddler. James Latcher was arrested with a ‘load’ of coke.
[US]F. Williams Hop-Heads 28: One of the men told of ‘the pinch’ of a peddler the other day.
[US]O.O. McIntyre Bits of New York Life 26 Dec. [synd. col.] He is searching for a dope-peddler.
[UK]Lancs. Eve. Post 25 Apr. n.p.: As much as 10 per cent of the raisins was morphine [...] extracted easily by the dope peddler.
[US]‘Goat’ Laven Rough Stuff 117: Little Joe was a typical dope peddler, shrewd for even a Jew.
Freehold (NJ) Transcript 22 Mar. [headline] Who is the Dope Peddler.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 267: Bednar knows who the peddler is as well as you ’r me.
[US]N.Y. World-Telegram and Sun 12 Jan. n.p.: A wholesale dope peddlar who supplied narcotics to ten pushers for the teen-age drug traffic was arrested yesterday afternoon.
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 54: I got no use for a dope pedlar.
[US]W. Motley Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960) 159: They lead us to pushers and pedlers.
[US](con. 1940s) Malcolm X Autobiog. (1968) 178: Some other racket or hustle — boosters, numbers runners, or dope-peddlers.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 87: Probably another dope peddler.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 77: Guys who beat up the wrong guinea [...] shook down the pedlar.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 61: The dope pedlers were few — and anathema.
[UK]Observer 1 Feb. 4/1: He is not a drug pedlar [...] But it’s illegal, it’s a banned substance.

4. (US tramp) a freight or goods train, a stopping train.

[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 142: Peddler.–A slow or way freight or goods train; any train that stops at every station along the line, much as a peddler calls from house to house to deliver goods.

5. (US prison) one who provides any form of contraband within the prison.

[US]H. Huncke in Huncke’s Journal (1998) 14: Cuba is what is known in prison jargon as a peddler. [...] If there is anything in the way of contraband to be obtained within the prison [...] he is the man to see.

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In compounds

In phrases