Mumble the Peg

I'm almost finished editing my mom's memoirs which is good since I'm scheduled to upload it to the publisher on Friday. This project has taken me a year longer than I thought it would. Originally, I'd planned to have it finished and in print by last Christmas. Here we are with the 2008 Christmas looming large on the horizon. There is light at the end of this tunnel though.

In one of my mom's stories, she mentioned how the boys loved to play mumble peg. I knew there would be at least a couple of generations that didn't know what that was so I did some research.

Playing With Knives

Mumblepeg or mumbletypeg is sometimes called mumble the peg. It's a noun deriving from the phrase mumble the peg, from the loser's originally having to pull out with his teeth a peg driven into the ground. Mumblepeg dates back to 1627. So what is it? A game in which players try to flip a knife from various positions so that the blade will stick into the ground.

When my mom went to school, all the boys carried pocket knives, and they would play mumblepeg with their knives at recess. No one every threatened anyone else with the knife. No teacher or administrator ever thought it amiss that boys had knives so they never confiscated the pocket knives.

Takeaway Truth

My, how times have changed.


  1. If one took a pocket knife to school these days, there would be a SWAT team on the grounds in ten minutes. Oh my, how times have changed.

  2. Yep, SWAT, CNN, FNN, and all the other alphabet soup groups.

  3. But how many of the kids with pocket knifes tried to stab each other with them? That's the scary change. As a teacher, there are certainly some kids that I prefer unarmed.

  4. Yeah, I know, Clair. Zero back in those days. Since my daughter is a teacher, I prefer that everyone have to pass through a metal detector before entering school! And she's at a "good" school.