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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.”
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price