peg away (at something)

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peg away (at something)

To continue trying or working diligently (at something). I'm really not very good at math, but I've got to keep pegging away at it if I want to get into an engineering program. A: "Where's John?" B: "Oh, he's out in the garden pegging away."
See also: away, peg

peg away

(at something) Go to plug away (at something).
See also: away, peg

peg away at

Also, plug away at. Work steadily, persist, as in She pegged away at the tax return until she'd finished, or If we keep plugging away at it, the painting will soon be done. These idioms allude to the persistence required to fasten something by driving pegs or seal something by driving a plug. Peg away dates from the early 1800s plug away from the mid-1900s.
See also: away, peg
References in periodicals archive ?
Strangely, second placed Frank Cooke Snr (Ted Carter's Southport) was only five pegs away and couldn't get a bite on bread
Team-mate Aubrey Lovell, eight pegs away on Gearys, was runner-up on 38-5-0.
Cardiff competitor James Smithson was two pegs away from the winner and third with 65lb 3oz and Richard Thompson fourth with 61lb 8oz.
Runner-up Phil Smith (Maghull Angling Liverpool) was two pegs away and fished the same style and though he caught for most of the day his roach were small and gave him 5lb 14oz.
Howard Green added to his Wednesday successes with 143lb from two pegs away while Mike Yandle made his regular appearance in the prizes in third place with 140lb.
Two pegs away, Nottingham's Gerry Woodock used similar tactics to mount the nearest challenge, using caster and corn baits for 57-0-0.
James Allen two pegs away was second with 194lb then it was over to Penny's where Zac Williams caught 187lb of carp for third place.
Steve Edwards was the nearest challenger with 52-10-0 from peg E2 and John Lavender (Boxley) took third spot with 48-2-0, two pegs away from the winner.
Merthyr member Gary Lewis was four pegs away and runner up with 91lb 9oz and Philip Jones, from Fochriw, third with 91lb 9oz.
He took 39-6-0 to the scales with the nearest challenge coming from two pegs away, where Craig O'Brien (Fast Feeders) had 37-14-0.