Based on our very own unscientific research at recent Beer Festivals, we realize that not everyone is familiar with the term “peanut gallery”. In fact, only rare and gifted human nuts under 30 years old know the term (hi, Amanda). Therefore, as a public service, today we are going to explore the origin and applications of this chestnut of a term. In order of least importance…
First, current use: People whose criticisms are regarded as irrelevant or insignificant, as in “he ignored complaints from the peanut gallery”.
Second, origin of phrase: The term originated in the days of vaudeville as a nickname for the cheapest (and ostensibly rowdiest) seats in the theater; the cheapest snack served at the theater would often be peanuts, which the patrons would sometimes throw at the performers on stage to show their disapproval. The phrases “no comments from the peanut gallery” and “quiet in the peanut gallery” are extensions of the name.
Third, most important, meaning (note that this is the first documented reference for the most important meaning): A very special area designated for the display of nut worthy characters; as in “It is an honor to appear in the Little Nutthings Peanut Gallery”.
Most of the pictures displayed with our blogs are from our very own peanut gallery. It’s a pleasure to share them with you, nut to nut. Our Nut of the Week is Hartzell Ray, the Gun Nut. HR was hunting for wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner but landed this deer instead.
Now, go, and please, live well … and out of the shell.