Some people do make the distinction, but it does seem to have become blurred at the edges. In Google news, "For Pete's sake" is an expression of exasperation; an example from about 132 hits:These are two quite different expressions.
Have they become blurred?
'Pity' has no meaning these days in this expression, no more than 'Pete' has meaning in 'for Pete's sake'.... for
Thanks a lot'Pity' has no meaning these days in this expression, no more than 'Pete' has meaning in 'for Pete's sake'.
What it used to mean, I suppose, is 'if you have pity for me' or 'have pity on me'. Both are fairly strong expressions in my vocabulary, of irritation and annoyance. They are more acceptable versions of "For fucks sake,..."
"For pity's sake, will you stop talking about Brexit!"
Thanks a lot!It’s been a while since I last heard ‘for pity’s sake’. Most people here say ‘for Pete’s sake’ or use some other ejaculation of exasperation.
Thanks a lot!I think "pity" would originally have had religious connotations, as when we ask God to have pity or mercy on us poor sinners.
For the love of God and for pity's sake seem to me quite similar in meaning, but the first is much stronger. Perhaps "For Pete's sake" was adopted as being more secular and rather jocular.