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1807, earlier ground nut, ground pea (1769). The plant is native to S.America. Portuguese traders took peanuts from Brazil and Peru to Africa by 1502 and it is known to have been cultivated in Chekiang Province in China by 1573, probably arriving with Portuguese sailors who made stops in Brazil en route to the Orient. Peanut butter attested by 1892; peanut brittle is from 1894. Peanut gallery "topmost rows of a theater" is from 1874, American English; peanuts "trivial sum" is from 1934.
A popular comic strip drawn by Charles M. Schulz. The world of Peanuts is populated by pint-sized versions of adults: perennial optimist and born loser Charlie Brown; bossy, loud-mouthed Lucy; gentle Linus with his security blanket; Schroeder, the brooding piano player; and many others.
Note: Perhaps the most popular character is the beagle Snoopy, Charlie Brown's dog, who is often accompanied by his feathered friend, Woodstock.
A small amount of money; a trivial sum; nickels and dimes: They got you working for peanuts (1934+)Related Terms
: a peanut operationnoun
A small or trivial person; something insignificant (1934+)