The creators of For Pete's Sake Day, Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat Holidays, only described the day by saying, "A world wonders: after all these years, who is Pete and why do we do or not do things for his sake?"
While we don't know everything about the phrase, we can learn a little bit about it.
The phrase is a minced oath, a euphemistic saying where words that are more acceptable to society replace other words.
Minced oaths have been used for centuries.
The phrase celebrated today probably originated in the 1920s.
An older version, "for the love of Pete," was recorded in print in 1918.
It was likely based on the saying "for the love of Mike," which dates to the 1880s.
This phrase was a euphemism for "for the love of God," a saying that dates to the early eighteenth century.
All of these sayings express frustration, irritation, and annoyance.
Another similar phrase is "For pity's sake," which may help explain why the word "Pete" was chosen, being that they both start with the letter "P."
Some also have speculated that the Pete being referenced is Saint Peter.
How to observe For Pete’s Sake Day
Celebrate the day by using the phrase "for Pete's sake" all day.
You could also learn some other minced oaths.
If you know someone named Pete, do something for their sake today as well.