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peter out

peter out

Date: Jul 24 2008

Themes: Pop Culture


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“I couldn’t find a ward I was comfortable in. It kind of petered out mostly because of that.”

- Actress Katherine Heigl on slowly giving up her Mormon faith.


1. Definition - Study the definition.

to slowly stop; go away over time

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

Katherine Heigl, who grew up with the Mormon religion, no longer practices it. She says that once she moved away from home, she couldn’t find a ward she liked (“ward” is the Mormon word for a group of people who go to a particular church, like a congregation or parish), so she slowly stopped being religious. Her faith petered out.

Whenever something slowly stops and goes away over time, it peters out. If there’s a TV show you used to watch every day, and then watched once a week and then not all, your interest in it petered out. If a city was once visited by lots of tourists but now hardly anyone goes there, its tourism industry petered out.

The origin of the phrase is actually unknown, but there are a few good guesses. Some trace the phrase to biblical Greek, but most think it has to do with rocks. A substance called saltpeter is used in mining. So once all the valuable rock is removed from a mine, all that’s left is saltpeter, so the mine petered out.

But, interestingly, saltpeter was also used by sailors to make sure their desire for sex petered out while at sea. So if you can’t sleep at night because of Heigl, try some saltpeter and see if your desire doesn’t peter out.


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“The store’s business began to peter out about a year ago and it closed last week.

“After he got married, his appetite for partying petered out. He rarely stays out late now.”


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

永恒破灭者 to slowly stop
by 永恒破灭者
Pavlionka to decrease, deteriorate and finally cease
by Pavlionka
@rehanna@ to gradually stop or disappear
by @rehanna@
by oceangirl05
sterne it means exhaust, knacker out or run out of steam
by sterne
felixvjr Fade out
by felixvjr
r8y8d gradually comes to an end
by r8y8d
tarkaw gradually use up
by tarkaw
vanish slowly, fade away, loose strength
by lovely_ruby56
diminishing gradually and stop/dwindle to nothing
by precocious2002
dearpesar fade out. disappear
by dearpesar
nono_cute get tired n fade away.....i suppose!
by nono_cute
dia_nna29 petered out means getting less people or reduced in number of people
by dia_nna29

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12:12 PM Jun 18 2015 |



my faith on my company petered out.i though i would have a good future in this company but now the business petered out and it no longer gets profit as much as it used to be. and my boss always cares about investment and forget the benefit of employee. we get 5 month behind on pay. who still keeps faith on such a half bankruptcy company

02:54 PM Aug 21 2008 |




thats nice, i got the idea

06:46 AM Jul 30 2008 |



myinterest for this subject petered out now

03:02 PM Jul 26 2008 |




The Actress Katherine Heigl is very beautiful but her religion story is sad to hear!!!

09:57 PM Jul 24 2008 |




to peter out means to decrease,fade away or lose interest

08:36 PM Jul 24 2008 |



vanish slowly, fade away, loose strength

11:20 AM Jul 24 2008 |

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