take (one) down a notch (or two)(redirected from take them down a notch or two)
take (one) down a notch (or two)
To reduce or damage one's ego or pride; to humble or humiliate one. I'm really glad that pompous oaf lost his court case—maybe that will take him down a notch or two. It's about time that someone took Sarah down a notch. Her arrogance is simply intolerable!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
take down a notch
Also, take down a peg. Deflate or humble someone, as in He's so arrogant that I wish someone would take him down a notch, or That defeat took them down a peg. Both notch and peg in this idiom allude to a series, the former of indentations, the latter of knobs, used to raise or lower something. Specifically, peg alludes to the pegs used to lower a ship's colors. Their figurative use dates from the second half of the 1600s. Also see cut down, def. 4.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.