follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

panhandle2

[pan-han-dl] /ˈpænˌhæn dl/
verb (used without object), panhandled, panhandling.
1.
to accost passers-by on the street and beg from them.
verb (used with object), panhandled, panhandling.
2.
to accost and beg from.
3.
to obtain by accosting and begging from someone.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900, Americanism; back formation from panhandler; so called from the resemblance of the extended arm to a panhandle1
Related forms
panhandler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for panhandling
  • He said panhandling sometimes takes a back seat to high profile crimes and occurrences that happen around the county.
  • Officers made contact with the suspect for aggressively panhandling when she became combative.
British Dictionary definitions for panhandling

panhandle1

/ˈpænˌhændəl/
noun
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/
verb
1.
(US & Canadian, informal) to accost and beg from (passers-by), esp on the street
Derived Forms
panhandler, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably a back formation from panhandler a person who begs with a pan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for panhandling

panhandle

n.

"something resembling the handle of a pan," 1851, from pan (n.) + handle (n.). Especially in reference to geography, originally American English, from 1856, in reference to Virginia (now West Virginia; Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Alaska also have them). Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle, or of one who handles a (beggar's) pan.

v.

"to beg," 1888, from panhandle (n.) in the begging sense. Related: Panhandled; panhandling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for panhandling

panhandle

verb

To beg, esp by accosting people on the street: The boys deal drugs or panhandle, even become male prostitutes

[1903+; fr panhandler]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for panhandle

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for panhandling

18
23
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for panhandling