"down a peg" vs "down a hill"

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #289 [color=blue]“English Slang Idioms (11)”, question 6

Everyone agreed that Jim was too arrogant, and they wanted to knock him down a .

(a) well
(b) peg
© hill
(d) head

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #289 [color=blue]“English Slang Idioms (11)”, answer 6

Everyone agreed that Jim was too arrogant, and they wanted to knock him down a peg.

Correct answer: (b) peg

Your answer was: [color=red]incorrect
Everyone agreed that Jim was too arrogant, and they wanted to knock him down a hill.
[size=200]_________________________[/size]

And why down a peg? I thought that a peg is something like a wooden nail in the wall for hanging clothes.

No. ‘Knock down a peg’ is an IDIOM. This is an idiom quiz.

Hi Mr Micawber,

Thank you very much for your help. But what about the etymology of this idiom?

I can only guess, but maybe there once was time when the sellers of clothes hang the best of them on the pegs situated higher than other ones. Let us suppouse that sometimes such clothes had not been sold for a long time and the sellers took them down a peg or two. Then people became to apply that to arrogant persons, i.e. ‘take them down a peg or two’ or then ‘knock them down a peg or two’ to make them less proud of themselves.

Is there a grain of sense in my hypothesis?

Best regards.

Yuri

Hello Yuri,

For someone as curious as you are, I’m surprised that you don’t take the time to do any internet searching for yourself.

Hello Mr Micawber,

Thank you for your advice. Now I know the direction and I’ll try to search the meaning ang the origin of idioms by myself.

Best wishes.

Yuri

Does to knock someone down a peg means to put smb down on the ground?

No, it means to humble smb.

knock sy down=To strike with a hard blow: knocked him on the head.

BUT
knock sy down a peg =
take someone down a notch (or two);
knock someone down a peg (or two);
knock someone down a notch (or two)

=to make somebody realize that they are not as good, important, etc. as they think they are, or to humble sb

“He needed to be taken down a peg or two as he was very haughty.”

‘knock somebody down’ - to strike them so hard they fall to the ground.
The given example doesn’t quite work as it has no indication that he fell to the ground.

knock sy down=To strike with a hard blow

the other boxer knocked him down and he fell to the ground. If I say in this way , is it okay? Can I say it in this way?

Sometimes I heard this kind of saying:

Sorry, but it is not my mistake that it appeared twice.

knock somebody down - literally, hit them so hard they fall over.
knock somebody down - figuratively, hindered progress to a point where they feel they are at the bottom.

Thanks Bez for your answer.
Good night.