square peg in a round hole

Idioms & Phrases

square peg in a round hole

Also, round peg in a square hole. A misfit, especially a person unsuited for a position or activity. For example, Ruth doesn't have the finesse for this job; she's a round peg in a square hole. This idiom, with its graphic image of something that cannot fit, dates from about 1800.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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