Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Peg Expression

I've been hearing and reading the expression PEG many times recently. Although I surely understand what it means that I even use it in my informal parlance, I am still puzzled as to how people, especially Filipinos, drew artistic inspiration behind the linguistic usage of this word today.

There are many definitions with regard to the peg as a word from the English language, from which the Filipinos most likely borrowed the modern expression. 

First, in a literal level, the definitions given by most resources all seem to point that peg is something that keeps things together. 

Second, in a different sense, a peg may refer to an arrangement that keeps amount to a certain level in relation to something.

This is the "peg" that I know before it became a popular expression.
Photo credit:

In the Filipino context, the expression peg may mean to the taking of inspiration from an ideal person or thing. 

For example, somebody says "I think this is not even a horse in the painting. The peg of this work is abstract painting." That comment, which may be insulting, implies that what the certain person painted is not good that it could be considered an abstract.

Not only observable attributes but even abstract qualities can be put into expression in comparison to a famous or novel one. For instance, somebody says "Oh my goodness, the couple adopted babies. Their peg is Angelina Jollie and Brad Pitt."

Now, I would like to make disclaimer by drawing a personal take on the connection between the original English meaning and the modern Filipino meaning of the word peg. 

First, in general, peg may refer to something that could fix, put, keep or hold things together. Bearing that meaning in mind, peg in the Filipino context is like holding ideas on board or in mind, and imitating and projecting qualities from it. 

Second, peg could also mean as an estimation at certain level in relation to something. As one would know, Filipinos are one of the most fanatic people in the world. The idea of peg in Filipino sense is that, when they appreciate famous artists, they make an inspiration in relation to the level of looks, talents, or deeds of their favorite artists.

If these are not enough, then I don't know how the expression "peg" came to our language. My peg today is a dramatic linguist. So, help me.

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