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Peanut gallery

The peanut gallery describes a rowdy group of critics or hecklers who give unsolicited, uninformed and unhelpful advice. The term comes from the days of American vaudeville when the topmost, cheapest seats were dubbed the peanut gallery. Peanuts were sold as refreshments at most vaudeville shows, and if the occupants of the cheap seats were displeased with a performance, peanuts would rain down from their gallery. Later, the term peanut gallery was perpetuated by Buffalo Bob Smith who hosted a children’s radio show called the Howdy Doody Show. Today, the peanut gallery refers to any group of critics or hecklers whose opinions are worthless, though it sometimes is used in a friendly way to refer to a vocal audience.


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Examples

Without establishing boundaries that you agree on now, you have little chance of surviving long-term as long as she invites a virtual peanut gallery into your private life. (The Times and Democrat)

It’s so easy to criticise from the peanut gallery – whether it is someone doing something on the national stage or just in your local community, your school, your family. (The Courier Mail)

I’m out in the peanut gallery watching, and it occurs to me, “You know one way you folks could be nicer would be not sitting with your backs to each other staring at your telephones, tapping on your laptops and checking your makeup instead of consulting.” (The Dallas Observer)

As you are the person you spend the most time with in this life, it is fundamental to your happiness that you are satisfied with the life you are living and the choices you are making, regardless of what the peanut gallery thinks. (The Huffington Post)

His behavior caught the attention of the Twitter peanut gallery. (The New York Daily News)

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