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

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.

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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