Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A game in which players toss a jackknife in various prescribed ways, with the object being to make the blade stick firmly into the ground.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a game in which players throw or flip a jackknife in various ways so that the knife sticks in the ground

Etymologies

From the phrase mumble the peg, from the fact that originally the loser had to pull up with the teeth a peg driven into the ground.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • A boy on an idle Saturday, playing a solitary game of mumblety-peg in the shade of a cottonwood.

    Excerpt: Crossers by Philip Caputo

  • Two boys (who might be Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn) play mumblety-peg with pocketknives.

    The Art of Politics

  • We dallied too long at a best-of-seven series of mumblety-peg by the Great Rock.

    Stillwater

  • After lunch I was sitting on top of Bald Hill with Hilliard Wood, Mehetable Hughes, and Ruth Ann Catlin, playing mumblety-peg with my jackknife.

    Stillwater

  • Gus had taught two of the boys to play mumblety-peg. Matilda and Long Bill had taught them simple card games.

    The Lonesome Dove Series

  • He devoted his leisure to complicated games of mumblety-peg with the Rainey boys.

    The Lonesome Dove Series

  • He sat in the shade of the wagon all day and taught the two young girls how to play mumblety-peg. Clara looked out at them occasionally from the upper windows—there seemed no harm in the man.

    The Lonesome Dove Series

  • They were playing mumblety-peg at the edge of the clearing while some younger boys watched.

    MOONSHINER’S SON

  • He sat in the shade of the wagon all day and taught the two young girls how to play mumblety-peg.

    Lonesome Dove

  • Of course, I don't play mumblety-peg any more, but, on the Moon, it's a right good game.

    The Past Through Tomorrow

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