Pet peeve

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A pet peeve or pet aversion is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find.


Its first usage was around 1919.[1][2] The term is a back-formation from the 14th-century word peevish, meaning "ornery or ill-tempered".[1]

Pet peeves often involve specific behaviours of someone close, such as a spouse or significant other.[3] These behaviours may involve disrespect, manners, personal hygiene, relationships and family issues.[4]

A key aspect of a pet peeve is that it may well seem acceptable 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 be upset by messy desks of their subordinates.[5] To most people, these may seem minor annoyances, but not to the supervisor. That same supervisor may witness employees coming into work late and not feel any annoyance whatsoever.


  1. ^ a b Harper, Douglas. "peevish". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  2. ^ pet peeve – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  3. ^ Kowalski, Robin M. (2003). Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors. Yale University Press. 
  4. ^ James, Leon. "Congressional Testimony on Road Rage". 
  5. ^ Green, Thad B., Jay T Knippen (1999). Breaking the Barrier to Upward Communication. Quorum/Greenwood. pp. 34–37. 

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