Its source is a Hebrew expression meaning "Division."
In the Jewish scriptures, the Tower of Babel was built by the people of the world so they could climb to heaven. As a punishment for their pride, God destroyed the tower and dispersed the people, confounding their one language into many, mutually unintelligible languages. In this story, Peleg was the progenitor of an entire of division of humanity, important to the Jews because their patriarch, Abraham, was descended from his branch.
Some authorities believe defining Peleg as ''division'' is a backward association based on the story. They prefer the interpretation ''waterway.''