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.
Seb Merrett was four pegs away and runner up with 98lb; third prize went to Merthyr after Frank Davies caught 95lb 15oz of carp and Dave Turberville, from Newport, was fourth with 94lb 9oz.
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.
Two pegs away was Andrew Ford who fished the same way but with pellets as bait and netted 85lb 10oz of carp while two pegs the other side was Richie Barnett, from Risca, with 72lb 15oz caught on sweetcorn.
Two pegs away, Nottingham's Gerry Woodock used similar tactics to mount the nearest challenge, using caster and corn baits for 57-0-0.
Godrich moved up to number one in the second match when he drew three pegs away from his previous day's peg and extracted just a little more for a 95lb 12oz weigh-in.
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.
Three pegs away was Bob Giles, from Cefn Fforest, who fished his way to second place with 148lb 10oz of carp and in third place was Cardiff Nomads member Gary Swaine with 140lb.
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.