peeping tom

Idioms & Phrases

peeping Tom

A person who secretly watches others, especially for sexual gratification; a voyeur. For example, The police caught a peeping Tom right outside their house. This expression, first recorded in 1796, alludes to the legend of the tailor Tom, the only person to watch the naked Lady Godiva as she rode by and who was struck blind for this sin.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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