Nautical sayings-Brought Down A Peg Or Two
Saturday December 6th, 2008
The phrase ‘to take somebody down a peg or two’ is one of those baffling, almost surreal sounding sayings that everyone understands but never thinks about what it actually means. If you do it doesn’t seem to make any sense. But the Harbour Guides crew refuse to let anything lie and welcome any puzzle with great enthusiasm.
To be honest the explanation for this one is pretty straightforward.
An admiral’s standard was always flown at the highest point on a ship’s mast. It was hauled up by a rope that was tied to one of a series of pegs. If a more senior admiral was to come aboard then his flag would be flown in its place and the original flag would be taken down a peg or two, which was often prone to hurt the resident admiral’s pride.