What Really Grinds My Gears


This week instead of grinding my gears on any specific topic, I thought it might be interesting to know the origin of the phrase.

If you think it originated on "Family Guy", you're wrong!

The phrase has been used as an English idiom to introduce one’s pet peeve since as early as 1987 in the comedy film Planes, Trains & Automobiles.  Actor Steve Martin first spoke the line after a series of mishaps was keeping him from getting home to his family on Thanksgiving.

On "Family Guy", Peter Griffin hosts a local access news program titled “You Know What Really Grinds My Gears,” in which he complains about things and people that irk him, including Lindsay Lohan, people who lived in the 19th century, and the lack of new jokes about priests and rabbis. The gag is a parody of the 1976 satirical film Network that follows the story of a newscaster whose on-air rant causes ratings to skyrocket and ultimately save his job.

As early as December 16th, 2005, complaint threads titled “What really grinds your gears?” began appearing on message boards including HeroClix Realms and Xbox 360 Achievements. In October 2007, a blogger named Gracie created You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?, a personal blog journaling her pet peeves and other problems. In March 2008, another blog named This Is What Really Grinds My Gears was launched, showcasing frustrations and personal problems submitted by the readers.

So you know what really grinds my gears this week?  The fact that I didn't invent that phrase!

Dan 88!

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