Word Origin & History
hot-rodders' slang, 1952, perhaps from peel "blade or wash of an oar" (1875, Amer.Eng.), earlier "shovel-shaped instrument" used by bakers, etc. (c.1400), from O.Fr. pele, from L. pala "spade, shovel," of unknown origin. Or it may be from aircraft pilot phrase peel away "veer away from formation" (WWII),
or from earlier Amer.Eng. slang peel it "run away at full speed" (1860).