square peg in a round hole
Also, round peg in a square hole. A misfit, especially a person unsuited for a position or activity. For example, Ruth doesn't have the finesse for this job; she's a round peg in a square hole. This idiom, with its graphic image of something that cannot fit, dates from about 1800.
Words nearby square peg in a round hole
MORE ABOUT SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE
What does square peg in a round hole mean?
The phrase square peg in a round hole refers to a person who is in a position, such as a job, that they are unsuited for, as in Jeff’s allergy to cats made him a square peg in a round hole as the vet’s assistant.
Square peg in a round hole can also refer to someone who is very uncomfortable in a certain situation. If you don’t like classical music, you might feel like a square peg in a round hole at a symphony performance.
The phrase round peg in a square hole is used to mean the same thing.
Often, the phrase square peg in a round hole is used with verbs like fit, stick, or push to emphasize the idea that the peg and the hole don’t match.
Example: Our school’s French teacher was a square peg in a round hole when she was accidentally assigned to teach my chemistry class.
Where does square peg in a round hole come from?
The first records of the phrase square peg in a round hole come from around 1836. A peg is a pin, usually made of wood, that is placed inside something. Square peg in a round hole figuratively compares a person who doesn’t fit in a situation or role to a square peg that literally doesn’t fit into a round hole.
Square peg in a round hole is commonly used to refer to a person filling the wrong role or being assigned the wrong position. For example, a professional baseball player would likely be called a square peg in a round hole if they were forced to play basketball instead.
Although it is most often used to refer to people, square peg in a round hole may also be used to refer to objects that don’t belong somewhere or things that are inappropriate in a certain situation, such as a 20-story building among two-story houses.
Did you know … ?
What are some other forms related to square peg in a round hole?
- round peg in a square hole
What are some synonyms for square peg in a round hole?
What are some words that share a root or word element with square peg in a round hole?
What are some words that often get used in discussing square peg in a round hole?
How is square peg in a round hole used in real life?
Square peg in a round hole is used to describe people who don’t fit their jobs or roles or to describe something as being inappropriate or a bad idea.
Last year, I said Matt Ryan in Kyle Shanahan's offense was a "square peg in a round hole." I didn't think that relationship would work…
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) January 15, 2017
I’m always amazed by people who decide to use a social media platform the way they see fit rather than learn how it’s used by the community.
It’s painful watching someone try to fit a square peg in a round hole.
— Jenny Li Fowler, 이경실 (@TheJennyLi) December 21, 2020
Getting haircut advice from my husband is about as productive as sticking a square peg in a round hole.
— Sarah Foss (@SarahEFoss) December 23, 2011
Try using square peg in a round hole!
Is square peg in a round hole used correctly in the following sentence?
As a professional chef, Felix is like a square peg in a round hole whenever he is in a kitchen.
How to use square peg in a round hole in a sentence
France 24 is providing live, round-the-clock coverage of both scenes as they progress.
ROME — What does it take for a Hollywood A-lister to get a private audience with Pope Francis?Pope Francis Has the Pleasure of Meeting Angelina Jolie for a Few Seconds|Barbie Latza Nadeau|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
This is a guy who has his son-in-law clean his eyeglasses, for crying out loud.
Her travel clique has been known to arrive at an airport, bags packed, passport-in-hand, within hours of spotting a deal.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement|Charlise Ferguson|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
His monotonous music is, really, like the audio soundtrack to a k-hole.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’|Marlow Stern|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Of course, considerations of weight have to be taken into account, but the more mould round the roots the better.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin
Before he could finish the sentence the Hole-keeper said snappishly, "Well, drop out again—quick!"Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl
In cross-section the burrows varied from round (three inches in diameter) to oval (three inches high and four inches wide).Summer Birds From the Yucatan Peninsula|Erwin E. Klaas
Kind of a reception-room in there—guess I know a reception-room from a hole in the wall.
There were at least a dozen ladies seated round the big table at the Parsonage.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills