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What is the meaning, if any, of the expression "taking gongs"?

I know what a gong is (a large Oriental cymbal).

But I don't understand the expression in the context of the following article: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/09/mad-men-modern-family-win-emmys-glory/

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Cult ad agency drama “Mad Men” won the best drama Emmy for the fourth year late Sunday, while “Modern Family” again took the comedy glory at US television’s awards show.

British shows also triumphed at the annual Hollywood show, the Oscars of the small screen, with Kate Winslet leading a string of Brits taking gongs, notably for “Downton Abbey.”

“Mad Men,” which has spawned a host of lookalike shows, fought off the strongly-tipped “Boardwalk Empire” to take the best drama Emmy at the climax of the show.

The expression only appears in the said article:
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=%22taking+gongs%22&oq=%22taking+gongs%22 so I am guessing is a typo of some sort...

or does it refer to another show?

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As a replacement for a deleted answer, I should mention that this appears to have been written for a British English audience. An American reading this (depending on their age) would be much more likely to think of a performer getting gonged off the stage on talent shows like The Gong Show (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gong_Show). Not a good thing. –  T.E.D. Sep 20 '11 at 19:22
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Gong is a colloquial expression for an award or medal. The only citation I found for this was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gong_(disambiguation)

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Gongs is a slang term for military medals, dating from the 1940s if not earlier; both are suspended discs of metal. And it's not far from that to 'prizes in general'.

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In present usage, I don’t think gong is by any means restricted to military honours. My first association of it is with the British honours lists — knighthoods, OBE’s, etc. — and my second association is with the Oscars. –  PLL Sep 20 '11 at 19:22
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