pettish (adj.)

1550s, "impetuous," evidently from pet (n.2) in its "proceeding from or pertaining to ill humor" sense, + -ish. Meaning "peevish, easily annoyed" is from 1590s.

It has naturally been assoc. with PET sb.1, as being a characteristic habit of a "pet" or indulged and spoiled child; but the connexion of sense is not very clear or simple .... [OED]

Related: Pettishly; pettishness.

updated on May 11, 2020