Revised as of 28 September 2017
This word confusion is another one of my major peeves, in fact I’m piqued at the number of times I’ve run across this confusion. Yep, I’m feeling downright peaky when I consider the peak aggregate of confused peakiness. I just might set my Peke to bite someone…grrrr…
Sigh…I gotta sit down, ’cause I’m gettin’ a bit peaky after all that peeking…
I had to amend this Word Confusion when I realized, in a fit of pique, that this cute little Peke wouldn’t be coming home with me. All that excitement that had peaked in me? Yep, down the drain. In fact, I peeked in that drain and saw it all swirling away.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: peak, pique; WordReference.com: peak|
|Part of Grammar:|
Verb, intransitive & transitive 2
|Noun; Verb, intransitive||Noun, informal
Can be capitalized or not; be consistent
Verb, intransitive & transitive 3, 4
A projecting pointed part or shape
A point in a curve or on a graph, or a value of a physical quantity higher than those around it
The point of highest activity, quality, or achievement
The maximum point, degree, or volume of anything
[Nautical] Narrow part of a ship’s hold at the bow or stern
[Nautical] Upper, outer corner of a sail extended by a gaff
[British] A Stiff brim at the front of a cap
[Archaic] Decline in health and spirits
A quick, typically furtive look
To be just visible
|Abbreviation for Pekingese dog||Noun:
A feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight to one’s pride 3
[Piquet] Scoring of 30 points on declarations and play before one’s opponent scores anything 4
To wound (the pride, vanity, etc.)
To excite (interest, curiosity, etc.)
To arouse an emotion or provoke to action
[Archaic] To pride (oneself) (usually followed by on or upon)
[Piquet] Score a pique against one’s opponent 4
At peak traffic hours, the level of smog increases dramatically.
He did not expect to be anywhere near peak fitness by Christmas.
That’s nuts! It’s peak travel time then.
At peak hours, traffic speeds are reduced considerably.
Jones was at his peak in the 1984 Olympics.
She’s reached the peak of her political career already.
Oil prices reached their peak last year.
A peek through the window showed that it was snowing.
Aww, c’mon…just a sneak peek??
A number of curtains were twitching as it seemed the whole town was peeking through their windows.
The cheeks of her ass were just peeking out of those tiny shorts.
|My aunt raises pekes.
Oh, he’s just the cutest little Peke!
He left in a fit of pique.
Lord Melbourne scored a pique against me.
Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip.
You have piqued my curiosity about the book.
Gads, I’ve been piqued!
|Adjective: peakish, peakyNoun: peakiness||Adjective: peekaboo
|History of the Word:|
|1 Mid-16th century and probably a back-formation from peaked, a variant of dialect picked meaning pointed.||Late Middle English pike or pyke is of unknown origin.||First known use: 1910
Early 20th century abbreviation.
|3Mid-16th century from the from French piquer meaning prick, irritate and denoting animosity between two or more people.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits
Credit to: Great pencil drawing courtesy of Shevi Arnold demonstrating the differences between peak, peek, and pique; I added the peke myself, so no blame to Shevi.