Where Did the Term “Piker” For a Small-Time Player Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

Many early highways had entrances that were blocked by a pike, or long pole, which was “turned,” or opened, after a toll was paid.

These highways were called turnpikes.

Those who walked these roads were sometimes vagrants and very often unsophisticated farm boys on their way to seek their fortunes in the city.

where did the term piker for a small time player come from and what does the word mean

If you just “came down the pike” you were naive and often admonished as a “piker.”

A small-time player is also known as a “piker”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.