Meaning of peter thief in English:

peter thief

nounpeter 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.’

Origin

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