Late Middle English, from British Vulgar Latin peta, probably ultimately from a Celtic language such as an unattested Pictish or Brythonic source, in turn possibly from Proto-Brythonic *peθ (“portion, segment, piece”).
- Soil formed of dead but not fully decayed plants found in bog areas, often burned as fuel. [from 14th c.]
Compare pet (“a favourite”).
peat (plural peats)
- (obsolete) A pet, a darling; a woman.
- c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], line 78:
- And let it not displease thee, good Bianca, / For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl. / A pretty peat!
- Kuhn, Sherman (1982): Middle English Dictionary, Part 3, p. 880