From Middle English pegge, from Middle Dutch pegge (“pin, peg”), from Old Saxon *pigg-, *pegg-, from Proto-Germanic *pig-, *pag- (“peg, stake”), from Proto-Indo-European *bak-, *baḱ- (“club, pointed stick, peg”). Cognate with Dutch dialectal peg (“pin”), Low German pig, pigge (“peg, stick with a point”), Low German pegel (“post, stake”), Swedish pigg (“tooth, spike”), Irish bac (“stick, crook”), Latin baculum (“staff”), Latvian bakstît (“to poke”), Ancient Greek βάκτρον (báktron, “staff, walking stick”). Related to beak.
This is one of the very few English words that begin with a p and come from Proto-Germanic. Proto-Germanic *p, when not in a consonant cluster beginning with *s, developed by Grimm's law from the Proto-Indo-European consonant *b, which was very rare.
peg (plural pegs)
- A cylindrical wooden or metal object used to fasten or as a bearing between objects.
- Measurement between the pegs: after killing an animal hunters used the distance between a peg near the animal's nose and one near the end of its body to measure its body length.
- A protrusion used to hang things on.
- (figuratively) A support; a reason; a pretext.
- (cribbage) A peg moved on a crib board to keep score.
- (finance) A fixed exchange rate, where a currency's value is matched to the value of another currency or measure such as gold
- (Britain) A small quantity of a strong alcoholic beverage.
- A place formally allotted for fishing
- (colloquial, dated) A leg or foot.
- One of the pins of a musical instrument, on which the strings are strained.
- A step; a degree.
- Short for clothes peg.
- (journalism) A topic of interest, such as an ongoing event or an anniversary, around which various features can be developed.
peg (third-person singular simple present pegs, present participle pegging, simple past and past participle pegged)
- To fasten using a peg.
- To affix or pin.
- To fix a value or price.
- To narrow the cuff openings of a pair of pants so that the legs take on a peg shape.
- To throw.
- To indicate or ascribe an attribute to. (Assumed to originate from the use of pegs or pins as markers on a bulletin board or a list.)
- (cribbage) To move one's pegs to indicate points scored; to score with a peg.
- (slang) To reach or exceed the maximum value on a scale or gauge.
- (slang, typically in heterosexual contexts) To engage in anal sex by penetrating one's male partner with a dildo.
- To keep working hard at something; to peg away.