In the FAQ for this site, peeving about grammar disguised as a question is discouraged. The various forms of peeve in Merriam-Webster however does not justify this usage.

Peeve is a verb meaning annoy, forming peeved and peeving. It is also a noun meaning grievance. Peevish is an adjective meaning ill-tempered.

Peeving about grammar then would suggest one can rewrite the phrase as annoying about grammar which does not make sense. How common then is this usage of peeving and is it legitimate?

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    Is this peeving about peeve disguised as a question? Feb 5, 2012 at 22:19
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    Appears like a hasty question. Checking out the different meanings and usage of peeve should have resolved.
    – Kris
    Feb 6, 2012 at 6:15

2 Answers 2


In fact this usage of the verb peeve, which is chiefly American, is old and well documented in the Oxford English Dictionary:

"...to grumble, complain petulantly..."

1912 Ade Knocking Neighbors 10 The Waiter peeved at being slipped a paltry $1.60.


Whatever the logic, 'peeving' is a noun for 'the act of complaining'. 'Annoying' is simply an adjecting that the modified object annoys something else.

The verb 'to peeve' is rare: 'X peeves Y' sounds strange. The most common usage of the root is as a noun: X is a peeve of Y' translates to 'X annoys Y'. And the noun 'peeving' is most likely a formation directly from that noun rather through the verb form.

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    I don't think It peeves me sounds at all strange, though I suspect it may gain some currency by association with "It piqued me". Feb 5, 2012 at 23:48