peon

peon

1 [pee-uhn, pee-on]
noun
1.
(in Spanish America) a farm worker or unskilled laborer; day laborer.
2.
(formerly, especially in Mexico) a person held in servitude to work off debts or other obligations.
3.
any person of low social status, especially one who does work regarded as menial or unskilled; drudge.

Origin:
1820–30; < Spanish peón peasant, day laborer < Vulgar Latin *pedōn- (stem of *pedō) walker (whence Medieval Latin pedōnēs infantry, Old French peon pawn2), derivative of Latin ped- (stem of pēs) foot

Dictionary.com Unabridged

peon

2 [pee-uhn, pee-on]
noun (in India and Sri Lanka)
1.
a messenger, attendant, or orderly.
2.
a foot soldier or police officer.

Origin:
1600–10; < Portuguese peão, French pion foot soldier, pedestrian, day laborer. See peon1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
peon1 (ˈpiːən, ˈpiːɒn)
 
n
1.  a Spanish-American farm labourer or unskilled worker
2.  (formerly in Spanish America) a debtor compelled to work off his debts
3.  any very poor person
 
[C19: from Spanish peón peasant, from Medieval Latin pedō man who goes on foot, from Latin pēs foot; compare Old French paonpawn²]

peon2 (pjuːn, ˈpiːən, ˈpiːɒn)
 
n
1.  a messenger or attendant, esp in an office
2.  a native policeman
3.  a foot soldier
 
[C17: from Portuguese peão orderly; see peon1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

peon
1826, from Mex.Sp. peon "agricultural laborer" (esp. a debtor held in servitude by his creditor), from Sp., "day laborer," also "pedestrian," originally "foot soldier," from M.L. pedonem "foot soldier" (see pawn (2)). The word entered British Eng. earlier (1609) in the sense
"native constable, soldier, or messenger in India," via Port. peao "pedestrian, foot soldier, day laborer."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

peon

n. A person with no special (root or wheel) privileges on a computer system. "I can't create an account on _foovax_ for you; I'm only a peon there."
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

peon definition

jargon
A person with no special (root or wheel) privileges on a computer system. "I can't create an account on foovax for you; I'm only a peon there."
[Jargon File]
(2001-12-23)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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