One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An unruly or mischievous child.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Peck's Sun. From Peck's bad boy, the name of a mischievous fictional character created by George Wilbur Peck for a serial in his newspaper Peck's Sun (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), which was first published in book form in 1883.
Peck's bad boy/ˌpɛks bad ˈbɔɪ/
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