Nosey Parker

Nosey Parker

"For the Thunderbirds Character see Aloysius "Nosey" Parker"

The term Nosey Parker isn’t recorded until 1907. The term nosey for someone inquisitive, figuratively always sticking their nose into other people’s affairs, is a little older, dating back to the 1880s. Before that, anyone called nosey was just somebody with a big nose, like the Duke of Wellington, nicknamed Old Nosey.

An alternative suggestion, put forward by Eric Partridge in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, was that the saying dates from the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851. Large numbers of people attended the Exhibition, so there would have been lots of opportunities for peeping Toms and eavesdroppers in the grounds. The word parker has since medieval times been used for an official in charge of a park, a park-keeper. The term was used informally for the royal park-keepers who supervised Hyde Park at the time of the Great Exhibition. So the saying might conceivably have been applied to a nosey park-keeper.

"Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable", suggests that the phrase nosey Parker was originally nose-poker. A poker, used in the sense of somebody who pokes into another’s affairs, has a long history, well pre-dating the nineteenth century appearance of nosey Parker. It’s possible that nose-poker became modified with the second element being converted into a proper name.

In popular culture

"Nosey Parker" is a Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons song.

"Now I go cleaning windows to earn an honest bob / For a nosey parker it's an interesting job" is a lyric from "The Window Cleaner" popularized by George Formby.

"Nosey Parker" was also spoken by W.C. Fields in the movie My Little Chickadee in the scene which he gambles, "cuts high card," with a man for $100.

"Nosey Parker" was a weekly strip cartoon appearing in the Scottish Sunday newspaper "The Sunday Post"

In the movie Nine and a Half Weeks (1986), when John leaves Elizabeth at his home as he goes out, he calls from a payphone to ask her if she's been looking through his things in his absence. He asks if she's been a "Nosey Parker".


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nosey Parker — /noh zee pahr keuhr/, Informal. See Nosy Parker. Also, nosey Parker. * * * …   Universalium

  • nosey parker — ˈpärkər noun Usage: often capitalized P Etymology: probably from a name Nosey Parker, from nosy (used as a nickname) + Parker (the surname) : a meddlesome prying busybody …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nosey Parker (film) — Nosey Parker is 2003 film directed by John O Brien. Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 References 4 External links Plot Sick of …   Wikipedia

  • nosey parker — noun Usage: often capitalized N&P Etymology: probably from the name Parker Date: 1907 chiefly British busybody …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nosey parker — /noʊzi ˈpakə/ (say nohzee pahkuh) noun → nosy parker …  

  • nosey-parker — noun a person who meddles in the affairs of others • Syn: ↑busybody, ↑nosy parker, ↑quidnunc • Hypernyms: ↑meddler …   Useful english dictionary

  • nosey parker — noun An overly inquisitive or prying person. See Also: busybody …   Wiktionary

  • nosey parker — (British) busybody, meddlesome person …   English contemporary dictionary

  • nosey parker — Noun. An overly inquisitive person. Informal …   English slang and colloquialisms

  • nosey parker —  Inquisitive person …   A concise dictionary of English slang

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