First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Pet

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Pet mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Pet

User Submitted Meanings

  • A submission from India says the name Pet means "Goft of god" and is of Hindi origin.

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun pet
  1. A cade lamb; a lamb brought up by hand.
  2. Any person especially cherished and indulged; a fondling; a darling; often, a favorite child."The love of cronies, pets, and favorites." [Tatler.]
  3. Etymology: Prob. fr. Pet a fondling, hence, the behavior or humor of a spoiled child

    A slight fit of peevishness or fretfulness."In a petshe started up." [Tennyson.]
  4. Any animal kept as a companion, usually in or around one's home, typically domesticated and cared for attentively and often affectionately. Distinguished from animals raised for food or to perform useful tasks, as a draft animal.

Etymology: Formerly peat, perhaps from Ir. peat, akin to Gael. peata

adjective pet
Petted; indulged; admired; cherished; as, a pet child; a pet lamb; a pet theory; a pet animal.
verb Pet
To treat as a pet; to fondle; to indulge; as, she was petted and spoiled.
verb Pet
To be a pet.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain)
  2. A domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement
  3. A fit of petulance or sulkiness (especially at what is felt to be a slight)
  4. A special loved one
  5. Stroke or caress in an erotic manner, as during lovemaking
  6. Stroke or caress gently ("pet the lamb")
  7. Preferred above all others and treated with partiality

Attested since the 1500s in the sense "indulged child" and since the 1530s in the sense "animal companion". From Scots and dialectal Northern English, of unclear origin. Perhaps a back-formation of petty, pety (“little, small”), a term formerly used to describe children and animals (e.g. pet lambs). Alternatively, perhaps a borrowing of Scottish Gaelic peata, from Old Irish petta, peta (“pet, lap-dog”), of uncertain (possibly pre-Proto-Indo-European) origin. Compare peat (“pet, darling, woman”).

  1. An animal kept as a companion.
  2. (by extension) Something kept as a companion, including inanimate objects. (pet rock, pet plant, etc.)
  3. One who is excessively loyal to a superior.
  4. Any person or animal especially cherished and indulged; a darling.
  5. To be especially liked or favored

The verb is derived from the noun.

  1. An animal kept as a companion.
  2. (by extension) Something kept as a companion, including inanimate objects. (pet rock, pet plant, etc.)
  3. One who is excessively loyal to a superior.
  4. Any person or animal especially cherished and indulged; a darling.
  5. To be especially liked or favored

Clipping of petulance.

  1. A fit of petulance, a sulk, arising from the impression that one has been offended or slighted.

Clipping of petition.

  1. Abbreviation of petition.

Clipping of petal.

  1. (Geordie) A term of endearment usually applied to women and children.

    pet was also found in the following language(s): Catalan, Chuukese, Dutch, French, Friulian, Lojban, Middle French, Polish, Romansch, Serbo-Croatian, and Slovene

    Where is the name Pet popular?

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    Popularity of Pet as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Pet as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Illinois, New Jersey, or New York.

    Common last names for Pet

    • Robinson

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Pet U.S.
      White 48.92% 64.26%
      African American 8.60% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 35.48% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 4.30% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.69% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Pet

    People with the last name Pet are most frequently White or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Pet

    • How Popular is the name Pet? Pet is the 61,859th most popular name of all time. As a last name Pet was the 97,671st most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Pet have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 20 babies born with the first name Pet in the United States.
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Pet? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1900 when it was given as a first name to 10 new born babies.
    • When was Pet first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Pet is Monday, February 1st, 1875.
    • What year had the most people named Pet born? The highest recorded use of the first name Pet was in 1900 with a total of 5 babies.
    • Weird things about the name Pet: Your name in reverse order is Tep. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Etp. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Pet? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 186 people with the last name Pet.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Pet? Pet is one of the most unique last names recorded.

    What Pets Have Visited This Page?

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.