from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The hindmost or uppermost section of seating in a theater balcony, where the seats are cheapest.
- n. A group of people whose opinions are considered unimportant: "Pressure is building ... to force ... Alan Greenspan to cut interest rates and pump up the money supply. [He] has politely ignored these catcalls from the peanut gallery” ( H. Erich Heinemann).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any source of heckling, unwelcome commentary or criticism, especially from a know-it-all or of an inexpert nature.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- The cheapest seats in a theater, being typically those farthest from the stage, as in the uppermost balcony.
- In a television show for children, the section where visiting children sit as guests during the performance.
- Any group of children, or the chidren in a group of people.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (figurative) people whose criticisms are regarded as irrelevant or insignificant (resembling uneducated people who throw peanuts on the stage to express displeasure with a performance)
- n. rearmost or uppermost area in the balcony containing the least expensive seats
The historically prior sense of “an upper balcony for black patrons” probably derives from an early association between peanuts and the African slaves who first introduced them to America; the extended sense of “a source of heckling” most probably derives from the disesteem in which those balconies and their occupants were generally held. (Wiktionary)
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