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Slang Dictionary: Teacher’s Pet

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What Does "Teacher's Pet" Mean

What Does “Teacher’s Pet” Mean?

“Teacher’s Pet” is a colloquial term often used to describe a student who is perceived as being the favorite or favored by their teacher. This student is often seen as excessively obedient, eager to please, and frequently seeks the approval of the teacher.

Related Words

Similar expressions include “brown-noser,” “suck-up,” and “apple polisher.” These terms all refer to individuals who go to great lengths to gain the favor of authority figures, often at the expense of their peers’ opinions.

Where Does This Word Come From?

The origin of the phrase “teacher’s pet” can be traced back to the early 20th century, with “pet” in this context referring to someone who is especially favored or indulged. It likely emerged from the idea that some students were like pets to their teachers, receiving special attention and privileges. Over time, the term has become a common slang expression used to describe students who are seen as teacher’s favorites.

Who Uses This Word?

“Teacher’s pet” is a term used by students and individuals of all ages to playfully or derogatorily describe someone who is perceived as excessively ingratiating towards their teachers or instructors. It’s often used in school settings but can also be applied in workplace or social contexts when someone is trying too hard to gain favor with authority figures.

Examples of Using This Word

  1. “Lisa always sits at the front of the class and answers every question. She’s such a teacher’s pet.”
  2. “Don’t be a teacher’s pet; it’s important to have your own opinions.”
  3. “Michael got an A on his essay because he’s the teacher’s pet.”

What to Replace This Word Within Academic Writing

In formal academic writing, it’s best to avoid slang terms like “teacher’s pet.” Instead, you can use more neutral and precise language such as “an academically diligent student” or “a student who actively seeks the teacher’s approval.” This maintains a professional and objective tone in academic discourse.

Quote of the Day

“Being a teacher’s pet may earn you a few privileges, but it won’t necessarily earn you the respect of your peers.”

– Jane Smith


While “teacher’s pet” is a lighthearted slang term often used to describe students who seek favor with their teachers, it’s important to remember that academic success should be based on merit and genuine effort rather than seeking preferential treatment. In formal settings, it’s advisable to use more neutral language to maintain professionalism.