I'm looking for a pithy and preferably alliterative antonym for "pet peeve". "Pet pleasure" has the benefit of both simplicity and parallelism to "pet peeve", but I'm concerned it may imply a sexual context. Suggestions?

  • I think you are safe from 'that' kind of meaning which seems to have faded into oblivion with the print media's abandonment of its "Agony Aunts" in the 21st century. As a spotty adolescent, I used to read Marjorie Proops, the UK's best known 'auntie', for my theoretical introduction to the birds and the bees! Sep 30, 2016 at 4:03
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    There are several levels of which the opposite could be created from. Can you describe the meaning of the word you are looking for a bit more precise?
    – Helmar
    Sep 30, 2016 at 7:44
  • The amusing irony is that "pet peeve" itself is related to a word with a sexual meaning... pervert. According to Etymonline, its origins, via "peevish", are uncertain but probably drawing from the same Latin root (perversus) as "pervert", which wasn't recorded as being used with a sexual meaning until 1897. (By referring to homosexuals as ones who had "forsaken a doctrine or system regarded as true".)
    – ssokolow
    Sep 16, 2018 at 23:46

5 Answers 5


What about a penchant, or even, if you wanted to alliterate, pet or personal penchant?

(UK): /ˈpɑːnʃɑn/, [ˈpɑ̃ʃɑ̃]
(US): /ˈpɛnt͡ʃənt/

a taste, liking, or inclination (for)
He has a penchant for fine wine.

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    Ooo -- "pet penchant" is nice and alliterative AND has that parallelism, too! Thanks! Sep 30, 2016 at 23:36
  • As elegant as this is, I have to warn people that, in my social circle, only the "inclination for" meaning was learned by cultural osmosis and there's just too much risk that people will interpret it as "a knack/skill for" rather than "a taste/liking for".
    – ssokolow
    Sep 16, 2018 at 22:35

How about soft spot?

From Merriam-Webster:

soft spot: a strong liking for someone or something

Given that a pet peeve is something that annoys or bothers a person very much, i.e., is something one dislikes strongly, it would seem that soft spot is an appropriate antonym.

  • Merriam-Webster now defines it as "a sentimental weakness", which is what I learned from encountering it in day-to-day use. Not really appropriate if you want an antonym for "pet peeve"'s "strong dislike of" with a meaning more along the lines of "a strong attraction to or preference for". (ie. Sort of like the slang term "fan wank", but without the masturbatory allusion and focused more on consuming what you like than creating things which express it.)
    – ssokolow
    Sep 16, 2018 at 22:40

Perhaps hobby-horse (or hobbyhorse), in the sense of a topic one likes to talk about constantly or keeps reverting to. Google's definition #2 "a preoccupation; a favorite topic."

At http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hobbyhorse their first dictionary, definition #3 "a pet idea or project."

  • Is a pet peeve a topic? I always thought of it more as an event or action (anecdote)? Sep 29, 2016 at 23:25
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    @billjamesdev, Pet Peeve is something you find to be a constant annoyance. In a way the two can be used in the same way. Pet peeve can be something that you complain about a lot, and so can hobbyhorse. But unlike pet peeve, hobbyhorse can also be positive, something you're constantly proselytizing for or talking up. Sep 29, 2016 at 23:28
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    How about incorporating your explanatory comment into the answer to make the answer itself stronger?
    – ab2
    Sep 30, 2016 at 0:16

Soft spot is good! Here are a few more ideas:

Labor of love

True treasures

Delicious delicacies

Particular preferences

Preferred pleasures

best-liked bits

popular preferences

and the best for last:

sweet satisfactions


favorite features

  • Nice! Those are really good, especially "sweet satisfactions". Sep 30, 2016 at 23:37

It's not alliterative, but favorite thing. Sound clip from the Sound of Music. (Click on My Favorite Things -- Julie Andrews -- You Tube, which appears below the picture. Do not click on the picture of Ms. Andrews. That click gave me a car commercial.)

The song refers to favorite things (plural) and the OP asked for the antonym of pet peeve (singular), so that is a problem with this answer.

Lyrics of song:

*Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with string

These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I'm feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don't feel so bad

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper…*

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    Something doesn't feel right. I think it's that "favourite" is a more exclusive word than "favoured" and "thing" is too concrete. For example, in fiction, I enjoy stories that explore how gender and related concepts shape our society and sense of self, and one very effective way to do that is contemporary fantasy which uses a transformation thought impossible to shatter people's worldviews so the reader can see what falls out, but it doesn't feel quite right to call gender-bending one of my favourite things. Of all suggestions, "particular preference" is the best fit so far… but not ideal.
    – ssokolow
    Sep 16, 2018 at 23:34

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