Pet peeve

Pet peeve

A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that can instill great frustration in an individual.


The term originated from the word 'peeve'. Its first usage was in 1919. The term is a back-formation from the 14th-century word 'peevish,' meaning ornery or ill-tempered.


Pet peeves involve complaints about specific behaviors, rather than general dissatisfaction. Pet peeves often involve specific behaviors of someone close, such as a spouse or significant other. These behaviors may involve disrespect, manners, personal hygiene, relationships, and family issues. An example of a pet peeve involving disrespect is someone not using their turn signal while driving. While some drivers feel frustrated when another driver does not use their turn signal, other drivers do not care very much, or consider something else, such as cellphone usage while driving more annoying. Pet peeves associated with driving can result in road rage, where the person who feels peeved seeks some sort of retribution for the action. Road rage itself is considered a pet peeve by many. Other driving-related pet peeves include drivers who speed up to keep others from changing lanes (Gap Snatchers), or distracted drivers talking on cell phones (Motor Mouths).

Often a pet peeve will seem illogical to others. For example, a supervisor may have a pet peeve about people leaving the lid on the copier up and react angrily, be annoyed when others interrupt when speaking, or by messy desks of their subordinates. That same supervisor may witness employees coming into work late, and not feel any annoyance whatsoever.


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