Green’s Dictionary of Slang

peach v.

[SE impeach]

1. to betray, to inform against.

[UK]Jeronimo (1605) Diii: Nay Lord Lorenzo, whers the pardon? Sfoot Ile peach else.
[UK]Dekker & Webster Northward Hoe V i: I haue known an arrant thief for peaching made an officer.
[UK]Fletcher Bloody Brother III ii: You, chip, Pantler, you peaching rogue.
[UK]New Brawle 12: Out, ye Whidling Shammock you, if you had not peach’d Sirrah, ye might have both been nubb’d like two Roagues together, but the Hemp was not ripe.
[UK]S. Butler Hudibras Pt I canto 1 line 599: Make Mercury confesse and peach / Those thieves which he himself did teach.
[UK]M. Pix Innocent Mistress V iii: Ay, my own mother to save myself. I say we’ll peach.
[UK]J. Arbuthnot Hist. of John Bull 88: Yan Ptschirnsooker came off (as rogues usually do upon such occasions) by peaching his partner.
[UK]J. Gay Beggar’s Opera I x: Secure what he hath got, have him peache’d the next Sessions, and then at once you are made a rich Widow.
[UK]Fielding Letter Writers II xi: mr. wisd.: It were good for you to resolve on being an Evidence, and save your own Neck at the Expence of his. risq.: Well, Sir, if I must peach, I must, I think.
[UK]Colman & Garrick Clandestine Marriage V ii: I’d sooner die than peach.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]M. Leeson Memoirs (1995) III 194: I was apprehensive in revenge he would ‘peach’.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Thomas Brown’ Fudge Family in Paris letter VI 56: Give me the useful peaching Rat.
[Aus]P. Cunningham New South Wales II 254: Honest John [...] was induced to ’peach on account of Jones (whom he denounced as being in reality the greatest ruffian in all Wales).
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 107: Clever dogs! Staunch to the last! Never told the old parson where they were. Never peached upon old Fagin!
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 11 Oct. 57/4: ‘You’d “peach” and turn “black spy”’.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London II (2nd series) 261: He might be induced to peach against Bob.
[UK]T. Taylor Still Waters Run Deep II ii: Surely that wildcat of a woman knows better than to carry out her threat of peaching.
[Aus]Mt Alexander Mail (Vic.) 24 Apr. 3/3: [P]ersons who band themselves together for a criminal purpose cannot be depended upon, and [...] they will, to use their own slang, ‘peach upon their pals’.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 126: I’m not going to peach if the proctor don’t send again in the morning.
[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 169: A curse on the sneak who shall peach, or shall shake.
Ledger (Noblesville, IN) 14 Aug. 6/2: ‘His partner “shaded” him and then “peached”’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 98: Not much chance of his peaching, if it had been a hanging matter.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Aug. 24/2: It is possible [...] that the increment of £2 6s. 8d. to his salary, which he would receive monthly, could he supplant Mitchell, would be useful in his wedded state, had something to do with his ‘peaching’ on the Overseer.
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 53: I was dead sore cause she was peaching on me.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 75: I’ve just been and told Mrs Wagstaff everything. She, dear lady, won’t peach.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 130: Peach on your companions, be just as mean and traitorous as you know how to be in our interests, and we will give you a certain amount of protection.
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 279: ‘You ain’t a proper man at all,’ she said with slow contempt. ‘If you was [...] you wouldn’t go an’ peach, like a stinkin’ nark!’.
[US]S. Ford Torchy 169: You wouldn’t be cad enough to peach on us for smokin’, would you?
[Ire]Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 4: His father had told him [...] whatever he did, never to peach on a fellow.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘The Diamond as Big as the Ritz’ in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald (1963) V 63: How about trusting us not to peach on you?
[UK]N. Lucas London and its Criminals 145: She ‘peached’ on a woman [...] The woman swore vengeance and when she came out a month or two ago she attacked Peggy with vitriol.
[US](con. 1910–20s) D. Mackenzie Hell’s Kitchen 168: Whether he was ‘lolly popped’ (peached upon) or whether he was ‘shopped’ (given away by confederates) I am not sure.
[Ire]Eve. Herald (Dublin) 9 Dec. 4/6: Other [underworld] terms include : — ‘Flatty’ (policeman), ‘peach’ (to give away), ‘Peter’ (safe), ‘monkey’ (padlock), ‘stick’ (jemmy), ‘van dragger’ (motor thief), ‘snow’ (cocaine), ‘madam’ (misleading conversation) ‘stir’ (prison).
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 154/1: Peach. (Obsolescent) To inform; to confess guilt and implicate associates.
[UK]‘John le Carré’ Smiley’s People 238: Karla is either smelling a rat or Mikhel has peached.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

2. to confess, to admit.

[UK]J. Greenwood Little Ragamuffin 106: He’s done something more’n he peaches to, only he won’t say.
see sense 1.