"fasten with or as if on a peg, drive pegs into for the purpose of fastening," 1590s, from peg (n.). Meaning "fix the market price" is by 1882. Slang sense of "identify, classify" is recorded by 1920. Related: Pegged; pegging.
"pointed pin of wood, metal, or other material," mid-15c., pegge, from Middle Dutch pegge "peg," or a similar Low German word (Low German pigge "peg," German Pegel "gauge rod, watermark," Middle Dutch pegel "little knob used as a mark," Dutch peil "gauge, watermark, standard"); of uncertain origin; perhaps from PIE *bak- "staff used as support" (see bacillus).
To be a square peg in a round hole (or the reverse) "be inappropriate for one's situation" is attested by 1836; to take someone down a peg "humble, lower the esteem of" is from 1580s, but the original literal sense is uncertain (most of the sensibly plausible candidates are not attested until centuries later). Peg leg "wooden leg of the simplest form" is attested from 1765.
Old English claðas "cloths; garments for the body," originally the plural of clað "cloth" (see cloth), which, in 19c., after the sense of "article of clothing" had mostly faded from it, acquired a new plural form, cloths, to distinguish it from this word. Clothes-hanger attested from 1860.
boys' knife-throwing game, 1650s, originally mumble-the-peg (1620s), of unknown signification and origin. The usual story is that it is so called because "The last player to complete the series is compelled to draw out of the ground with his teeth a peg which the others have driven in with a certain number of blows with the handle of the knife" [Century Dictionary]; see mumble (v.) in the original sense "eat in a slow, inefficient manner."
also clothes horse, "upright wooden frame for hanging clothes to dry," 1788, from clothes + horse (n.) in its secondary sense "that upon which something is mounted." Figurative sense of "person whose sole function seems to be to show off clothes" is 1850. Clothes-screen, which had the same literal sense, is attested in the figurative sense from 1830.
"ordinary dress of civil life" (as opposed to military uniform), 1822; in reference to police detectives, it is attested from 1842. Also plainclothes.
1570s, "stump of a tree, branch," a word of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse snagi "clothes peg," snaga "a kind of ax," snag-hyrndr "with sharp points" ("snag-cornered"). The connecting notion seems to be "sharp protuberance, projecting point."
The general meaning, in reference to any sharp or jagged projection is recorded from 1580s; especially "tree or part of a tree in water and partly near the surface, so as to be dangerous to navigation" (1807). The figurative meaning "hidden obstacle, unexpected impediment" is from 1829.