1. [early–mid-19C] hard blows, e.g. in a prizefight or fig. from a volley of bullets; thus pepperer n., a fighter or boxer.
2. [mid-19C-1900s] serious trouble.
3. [20C+] zest, vitality; thus peppery adj.
4. [1940s–50s] (US black/teen) an attractive young woman.
[early 19C] a state of being beaten up.
1. [early 19C] a sharp, hard blow.
2. see also SE compounds below.
SE in slang uses
[1960s+] (US) a derog. term for a Mexican or Mexican-American; thus pepper-bellied adj.
1. [mid-19C] (US) the head.
2. [1900s] a pistol.
3. see also sl. compounds above.
1. [late 18C] the head.
2. [late 19C] (US) a revolver.
[1950s] (W.I.) an irascible, quick-tempered person.
[1950s] (US) a show-off.