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Mrs. Astor's pet horse
old-fashioned Someone dressed or decorated very ostentatiously; someone who is particularly pretentious or showy in appearance. The "Mrs. Astor" in the phrase refers to American financier William Astor's wife Caroline, a legendary 19th-century New York City socialite known for her lavish parties. Look at her swanning about in all her furs and jewelry, like Mrs. Astor's pet horse.
A source of annoyance for one; a pet peeve. Ugh, my pet hate is people who chew with their mouths open.
A typically minor issue that causes one frequent and recurring annoyance. It's always been my pet peeve when cars turn without using their signals. It drives me crazy! A: "Ugh, I hate it when people talk during a movie." B: "Oh, I know, that's my pet peeve, too!"
1. A derogatory term for a teacher's favorite or favored student, typically one who has sought such favor by being ingratiatingly obedient. Jill's classmates called her a teacher's pet after she volunteered to supervise the class while the teacher was away. Being the teacher's pet will get you nowhere when the midterm exam rolls around.
2. By extension, a derogatory term for someone who has gained or attempts to gain the favor of an authority figure, typically in order to obtain preferential treatment. Jeff is the resident teacher's pet in the office. He brings the boss coffee every day.
Fig. something that is disliked intensely and is a constant or repeated annoyance. My pet hate is being put on hold on the telephone. Another pet hate of mine is having to stand in line.
Fig. a frequent annoyance; one's "favorite" or most often encountered annoyance. My pet peeve is someone who always comes into the theater after the show has started. Drivers who don't signal are John's pet peeve.
the teacher's favorite student. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) Sally is the teacher's pet. She always gets special treatment. The other students don't like the teacher's pet.
A particular or recurring source of irritation, as in My pet peeve is that neighbor's cat running through my herb garden. [Early 1900s]
A person who has gained favor with authority, as in Al has managed to be teacher's pet in any job he has held. This expression transfers the original sense of a teacher's favorite pupil to broader use. [1920s]
your, his, etc. pet ˈhate(British English) (American English your, his, etc. pet ˈpeeve) something that you particularly dislike: She didn’t mind people smoking, but her pet hate was people blowing smoke in her face.
n. a major or principal annoyance or complaint. Dirty dishes in restaurants are my pet peeve.
pet peeve, one's
One’s favorite gripe, a recurring source of annoyance. The noun peeve is what linguists call a back formation from the adjective peevish, but its ultimate derivation, as well as that of pet, is apparently unknown. The pairing of the two, an Americanism, dates from the early 1900s.
Someone who seeks preferential treatment. A derisive epithet hurled at a student who tries to curry a teacher's favor in hopes of a better grade. Such a charge, valid or not, often led to cloakroom or schoolyard challenges and bloody noses. Outside of school, it was applied to people who insinuated themselves to authority in the hope of special treatment. The French equivalent is “teacher's little cabbage.”