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Meaning of “Taken Down A Peg” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence.

Taken Down A Peg


Remember how in arms and politics,

We still have worsted all your holy tricks;

Trepanned all your party with intrigue,

And took (!) your grandees down a peg.

To take a person down a peg means to inflict a mild humiliation. It has occasionally the significance of openly reprimanding and deliberately vexing a braggart or upstart. Pegs have played an important part .in human economy, and their common and practical use has, in no small degree, helped to enrich our figurative language. We “peg down” a person to a point in an argument; by which we mean that we fix him to a logical discussion. We “peg away” at a task in hand when we desire and are determined to succeed; in other words, we hold on as though by a peg. If we wish to indicate that a person shall not make the slightest movement, we say: “Don’t stir a peg!” Finally, when we die, our friends say we have “pegged out.” Many of these. figures of speech are derived from the game of cribbage, in which the scores are recorded by pegs in a board containing many holes.

The origin of the phrase, however, is in the old seafaring practice of rendering honours by hoisting and lowering a snip’s colours. This was originally done by means of pegs which were raised or lowered one or more degrees, according to the rank of the person to be honoured. “Take him down a peg, Jim!” the boatswain may have ordered the man in barge of the ensign, if the honour to be rendered was in respect of a man not of the higher ranks.

Of all the persons in the world, perhaps the least respected are those pretentious, conceited fools (like Shakespeare’s Malvolio) who think that because they have hoodwinked themselves to believe that they are somebody, they can hoodwink their fellows to believe the same. To take such down a peg must be a supreme delight to many.


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