An example of a peevish person is someone who always starts arguments with others.
Origin of peevish
- Middle English pevish possibly from Latin perversus turned the wrong way, perverse past participle of pervertere to turn around, corrupt pervert
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English pevische, pevisse, pevysse, peivesshe, also peyuesshe, peeuish, of obscure origin. Perhaps from Middle English pew, pue (“a plaintive cry, the cry of a bird"), equivalent to pue +"Ž -ish. Cognate with Scots pevis, pevess, pevych, pevach (“peevish"), Scots pew, peu (“to cry in a plaintive manner"). See pue
- Alternative etymology derives Middle English peyvesshe "capricious, silly", as a possible corruption of Latin perversus "perverted". The meaning "fretful" develops in the 16th century.