A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 21, 2015
“Go peddle your papers!” (go away)

"Go peddle your papers!” is an old expression meaning to “go away.” Boys in New York City in the late 19th century made money by selling newspapers. Someone who didn’t want a boy around would tell him to “peddle his papers”—that is, to go somewhere else or to “get lost.”

“‘Go peddle your papers,’ replied the patrolman with fine scorn” was cited in print in 1905.


31 July 1905, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Dog Fight Causes Big Fuss,” pg. 7, col. 3:
“Go peddle your papers,” replied the patrolman with fine scorn.

23 December 1905, Cleveland (OH) Leader “Con Talk,” pg 6, col. 3:
Peddle your papers, dame—I’m wise
To you—skidoo, miss! On your way! Twenty-three!

14 February 1907, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “Pathetic Plea Veils Robbery,” pg. 7, col. 4:
“Go on, peddle your paper,” said Lewis. “Don’t bother me.”

29 November 1908, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Council Bluffs Scene of Operations of the Big Game for Easy Ones,” pg. 8, col. 6:
So they said, “Run along and peddle your papers, son, and don’t bother.”

10 April 1910, Laredo (TX) Times, “Diamond Dust,” pg. 12, col. 5:
Thats’llrite Gloomy, run along and peddle your papers, that’s a good boy.

Google Books
Road to Normalcy
By Hyman Chartock
New York, NY: Field
1947
Pg. 29:
“Hang up your tin medals and go peddle your papers.”

Google Books
Once Upon a Playground:
A Comedy in One Act

By Jack Frakes
New York, NY: Samuel French, Inc.
1966
Pg. 16:
WANDA. Why don’t you run peddle your papers?

Google Books
Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog & Other Stories
By Richard Grayson
Adelphi, MD: White Ewe Press
1982
Pg. 71:
“Go peddle your papers somewhere else, you anti-yellow journalist.”

Google Books
The City in Slang:
New York Life and Popular Speech

By Irving Lewis Allen
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1993
Pg. 205:
The ubiquitousness of newsboys, who incessantly pestered passersby and sitters in public places, surely accounts for the slang phrase go peddle your papers, said dismissively and now generally meaning “go away.”

Google Books
The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
Edited by Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor
New York, NY: Routledge
2015
Pg. 584:
peddle verb c peddle your papers to mind your own business US, 1947

Facebook
Don Howard
August 24, 2014 · Lepanto, AR
Dear candidate, if you aren’t pro life, pro constitution, go peddle your papers somewhere else. You have absolutely no chance of getting my vote. Don’t try to fool me with rhetoric. I check out the candidates on my ballot.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Tuesday, April 21, 2015 • Permalink