No comments from the “peanut gallery”!

My father has been on my mind lately, he used a lot of colorful expressions, like calling us (my brother, sister and I) “the peanut gallery” when we were in high spirits and acting silly. It came as a mild shock that, in fact, it wasn’t used to describe silliness at all. Here is what I discovered this morning:

peanut-gallery1The “peanut gallery” (noun) means:

  1. The hindmost or uppermost section of seating in a theater balcony, where the seats are cheapest. (2.) In reference to theaters, of the section with the highest, cheapest seats; hence “people who occupy a (theater) gallery” (contrasted with “gentlemen of the pit”) first by Lovelace, 1640s, hence “to play to the gallery”.

So, it’s a slight to those people who can’t afford the expensive seats.


  1. A group of people whose opinions are considered unimportant: “Pressure is building … to force … Alan Greenspan to cut interest rates and pump up the money supply. [He] has politely ignored these catcalls from the peanut gallery” (H. Erich Heinemann).




  1. A source of insignificant criticism: “No remarks from the peanut gallery!”[1885–90, American slang]





5 thoughts on “No comments from the “peanut gallery”!

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