1 [pan-han-dl]
the handle of a pan.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a long, narrow, projecting strip of territory that is not a peninsula, especially such a part of a specified state: the panhandle of Alaska; the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

1855–60; pan1 + handle Unabridged


2 [pan-han-dl] Informal.
verb (used without object), panhandled, panhandling.
to accost passers-by on the street and beg from them.
verb (used with object), panhandled, panhandling.
to accost and beg from.
to obtain by accosting and begging from someone.

1895–1900, Americanism; back formation from panhandler; so called from the resemblance of the extended arm to a panhandle1

panhandler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
panhandle1 (ˈpænˌhændəl)
1.  (sometimes capital) (in the US) a narrow strip of land that projects from one state into another
2.  (in a South African city) a plot of land without street frontage

panhandle2 (ˈpænˌhændəl)
informal (US), (Canadian) to accost and beg from (passers-by), esp on the street
[C19: probably a back formation from panhandler a person who begs with a pan]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"something resembling the handle of a pan," 1851, especially in ref. to geography, originally Amer.Eng., 1856, in ref. to West Virginia (Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma also have them). Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle; verb panhandle
"to beg" is from 1903.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Muscovite beggars are generations older than the runaways and addicts who panhandle in western capitals.
Start your exploration at one of the dozens of lakes in the northern panhandle.
Related Words
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