[ muhm-buh l-tee-peg ]
/ ˈmʌm bəl tiˌpɛg /


a children's game played with a pocketknife, the object being to cause the blade to stick in the ground or a wooden surface by flipping the knife in a number of prescribed ways or from a number of prescribed positions.

Nearby words

  1. mum's the word,
  2. mum-and-dad investor,
  3. mumbai,
  4. mumble,
  5. mumblety-peg,
  6. mumbo jumbo,
  7. mumchance,
  8. mumetal,
  9. mumford,
  10. mumford, lewis

Also mum·ble·de·peg, mum·ble·dy·peg [muhm-buh l-dee-peg] /ˈmʌm bəl diˌpɛg/, mumble peg, mum·ble-the-peg [muhm-buh l-thuh-peg] /ˈmʌm bəl ðəˌpɛg/, mum·ble·ty-peg, mum·bly-peg [muhm-blee-peg] /ˈmʌm bliˌpɛg/.

Origin of mumbletypeg

1620–30; from phrase mumble the peg (see mumble); so named because the losing player was formerly required to pull a peg from the ground with his or her teeth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mumblety-peg

  • Only we didn't call it stick-knife,” said Old Hundred, “we called it mumblety-peg.

    Penguin Persons & Peppermints|Walter Prichard Eaton
  • Now I'll bet you a thousand dollars I can beat you three games out of five at mumblety-peg.

    The Man Next Door|Emerson Hough

British Dictionary definitions for mumblety-peg


/ (ˈmʌmbəltɪˌpɛɡ) /


US a game in which players throw a knife in various prescribed ways, the aim being to make the blade stick in the ground

Word Origin for mumbletypeg

C17: from mumble the peg, a loser in the game being required to pull the knife out of the ground using the teeth

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mumblety-peg



boys' knife-throwing game, 1650s, originally mumble-the-peg (1620s), of unknown signification and origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper