Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Blue Peter.

 Blue-noses.Blue-pigeon Flyer. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Blue Peter.
 
A flag with a blue ground and white square in the centre, hoisted as a signal that the ship is about to sail. Peter is a corruption of the French partir (leave or notice of departure). The flag is hoisted to give notice to the town that any person having a money-claim may make it before the ship starts, and that all about to sail are to come on board.   1
   According to Falconer, it is a corruption of the “blue repeater.”   2
   In whist, it is a “call for trumps”; that is, laying on your partner’s card a higher one than is required.   3
   To hoist the blue Peter. To leave.   4
        “‘When are you going to sail?’
        “‘I cannot justly say. Our ship’s bound for America next voyage … but I’ve got to go to the Isle of Man first … And I may have to hoist the blue Peter any day.’”—Mrs. Gaskell: Mary Burton, chap. xiii.
 


 Blue-noses.Blue-pigeon Flyer. 

 
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