- The hindmost or uppermost section of seating in a theater balcony, where the seats are cheapest.
- A group of people whose opinions are considered unimportant: “Pressure is building &ellipsis; to force &ellipsis; Alan Greenspan to cut interest rates and pump up the money supply. [He] has politely ignored these catcalls from the peanut gallery” (H. Erich Heinemann).
(plural peanut galleries)
- (historical) The upper balcony in racially segregated venues such as a theatre to which black patrons were restricted.
- (idiomatic) Any source of heckling, unwelcome commentary or criticism, especially from a know-it-all or of an inexpert nature.
- Enough already from the peanut gallery; if you think you can do a better job, go right ahead.
The historically prior sense of â€œan upper balcony for black patronsâ€ probably derives from an early association between peanuts and the African slaves who first introduced them to America; the extended sense of â€œa source of hecklingâ€ most probably derives from the disesteem in which those balconies and their occupants were generally held.