One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The first appearance of daylight, the earliest dawn. Also figurative. Now chiefly literary.
1Of, relating to, or designating a Protestant organization active in the north of Ireland 1784–95, whose members clashed with Roman Catholic Defenders. Especially in "Peep o' Day Boys". Now historical.
2Generally. Of, relating to, or active at the first appearance of daylight. Now rare.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Abraham Fleming (c1552–1607), author, literary editor, and Church of England clergyman. From peep + of + day.
peep of day/ˌpiːp əv ˈdeɪ/
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