Britmums prompt: “My pet peeve is…..”

the expression “pet peeve”.

I hate it!!!

What on earth does “peeve” actually mean?  It is one of those words that doesn’t actually tell you anything.

The definition says it is a verb, ie “to render peevish“.  Oh right, that explains it.   NOT.

Or maybe a noun: “to be in a peeve”   When have you ever heard anybody use that expression?

“You okay, darling?”

“No, actually I am in a bit of a peeve”.    Does that mean you are stuck on 3 across of the Telegraph Crossword or does it mean that dear husband needs to leave the room before being lumped on the chin?

No, the only time I have ever heard somebody use the word peeve is as above,  “my pet peeve”.

Why would you refer to something that irritates or annoys you as a “pet”?   My pets are things I love, cherish, nurture and want to spend time with.    I cannot imagine “a peeve” to be such a thing.

So there you have it.   My pet peeve is pet peeve.

The whole thing really peeves me off.



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  • Brilliant! I now intend to use the phrase “I am in a bit of a peeve” at every opportunity. I shall teach it to my toddler too, as an alternative to “I having a grumpy”, which is her current favourite. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

  • This bloody language of ours is full of so many words and phrases that make my teeth itch. I’m glad, firstly, that it isn’t just me and, secondly, that there’s someone else that ‘reads’ the Daily Mail but really doesn’t like it.

    My own shudder words and phrases are ‘platter’ [don’t ask why, I have no idea], ‘refreshments’ [see previous ‘I have no idea’ statement] and the currentmoverabundant useage of ‘in store’ and ‘robust’.


  • ^
    I have no idea where that rogue ‘m’ came from – it should read ‘….current overabundant….’


  • Hahaha. Hilarious. And so, so true. There are far too many words in the English language and most of them make absolutely zero sense. So I think that when they release the new dictionary each year, for every word they add they should also be forced to choose a stupid one to take away.

  • Of all the words that annoy me that have been allowed page space in our official dictionaries ‘peeve’ wasn’t one of them. However, I’ve put it on notice that your post now has me looking at it a little more askance. 😉