peeping tom

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peeping tom

n. a person who stealthily peeks into windows, holes in restroom walls or other openings with the purpose of getting a sexual thrill from seeing women or girls undressed or couples making love. The term comes from the legendary Tom who was the one person who peeked when Lady Godiva rode her horse naked through the streets of Coventry to protest taxes. Being a peeping tom is treated as a crime based on sexual deviancy, with various names in different states. It forms the basis for a lawsuit by the victim on the basis of invasion of privacy.

References in periodicals archive ?
Bowen said she plans to work on her own art and one day may reopen a new version of The Voyeur in Ashland or in Northern California.
Yet, obviously, it takes on a much more sinister form when it's a secretive act - or as the dictionary puts it in a secondary definition, a voyeur is someone who 'enjoys seeing the pain or distress of others'.
For instance, while not a voyeur in the very explicit manner of Popeye, Horace, too, is a man who lives a somewhat marginal detective life.
The Voyeur show also includes assembled objects, prints and sculptural pigment vessels.
Wenger was fuming when Mourinho branded him a voyeur during a public row a fortnight ago.
That's why Fergie will be swapping anecdotes with Mourinho today while Wenger is considering whether to take legal action over a slur branding him a voyeur.
He is an intruder in a very private space, a curious but dispassionate voyeur.
The voyeur is obliged to remain an alienated spectator.
Four decades before Jerry Springer, Jimmy Stewart played the original couch potato turned voyeur in an edgy thriller about the dark pleasures of prying into other people's private lives.
Although no customers actually enter the studio, Tampa's city council is upholding a finding by the zoning board that the site violates local ordinances regarding "adult" businesses and has threatened to lock the doors to Voyeur Dorm.
Among the highlights will be Vancouver director Lynne Stopkewich's feature debut Kissed, director Grant Harvey's American Beer, and Regina-based Richard Kerr's the willing voyeur.
Throughout the book, much is made of the window as something to look out of but not into, yet here, in these architects' writings, one feels one is a voyeur peering into their innermost thoughts.