Meaning of peter thief in English:

peter thief

nounplural noun peter thieves

informal Australian
  • A prisoner who steals from another prisoner's cell.

    • ‘the women discover who the peter thief is, and deal with her’
    • ‘The worst thing you could be was a peter thief, where you would walk into someone's cell and steal their tobacco.’
    • ‘I thought that if you were going to be a peter thief, you may as well go all out and do it in the open.’
    • ‘“You stole something from me, Peter Thief,” I yelled, “but I've come to buy it back!”’
    • ‘If you're a peter thief, you get whacked.’
    • ‘You're a peter thief and you're a dog—I ought to knock your head off.’
    • ‘I'm not a peter thief—where d'you get the suit anyway?’
    • ‘Lizzie excuses herself to prepare inked notes for the peter thief.’
    • ‘I don't like peter thieves—if I take something from somebody's cell, I make sure they're there when I take it.’
    • ‘That's the sort of slang you get in prison—I did not know what a peter thief was, but I do know now.’
    • ‘Peter thieves would risk being caught by fellow inmates and having the heavy steel doors slammed shut on their fingers.’


1950s from peter, in the Australian sense ‘a prison cell’.