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[pan-han-dl] /ˈpænˌhæn dl/ Informal.

verb (used without object), panhandled, panhandling.
to accost passers-by on the street and beg from them.
verb (used with object), panhandled, panhandling.
to accost and beg from.
to obtain by accosting and begging from someone.
(sometimes capital) (in the US) a narrow strip of land that projects from one state into another
(in a South African city) a plot of land without street frontage
(US & Canadian, informal) to accost and beg from (passers-by), esp on the street

“something resembling the handle of a pan,” 1851, from pan (n.) + handle (n.). Especially in reference to geography, originally American English, from 1856, in reference to Virginia (now West Virginia; Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Alaska also have them). Meaning “an act of begging” is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle, or of one who handles a (beggar’s) pan.

“to beg,” 1888, from panhandle (n.) in the begging sense. Related: Panhandled; panhandling.


To beg, esp by accosting people on the street: The boys deal drugs or panhandle, even become male prostitutes

[1903+; fr panhandler]


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