Are you looking for a word to describe something that annoys you, but isn’t irksome enough to write a letter to the editor about (well, unless you’re that kind of person)?
Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines it:
peccadillo: a small mistake or fault that is not regarded as very bad or serious
A person’s peccadillo could be that their partner doesn’t fold laundry the way they like it, or their friend insists on driving exactly five miles over the speed limit. Peccadillo covers minor offenses. That means genocide, for example, falls outside most people’s peccadillo boundaries.
Humans have long needed a term to differentiate between a minor and a major fault. Peccadillo originates in English from the end of the 1500s, when English speakers borrowed it from the Spanish. In Spanish peccadillo means also means a minor sin, whereas pecado means a greater sin.
What are your peccadilloes? Tell me in the comments below.
Erin Servais is the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC, an author-services company focusing on women writers and offering a range of book editing, author coaching, and social media packages.
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2 thoughts on “What Does “Peccadillo” Mean?”
Thank you for this post. ‘Pecadillo’ will be a fantastic addition to my English vocabulary, any excuse to use a word with Spanish roots at home! One of mine has to be people in the office not closing the photocopier lid when they’re done – who wants to be blinded by that light when they walk past!
Becca Lou X
Currently, my peccadillo is bad table manners, especially in pretentious people.
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