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Nitpick

To nitpick means to complain or criticize something or someone over insignificant details. Nitpick is a verb, related words are nitpicks, nitpicked, nitpicking, nitpicker, nitpicky. Nitpick is occasionally found hyphenated, as in nit-pick, but the hyphenated form is found less and less. Surprisingly, nitpick is a relatively recent word, first used in the 1960s. It is a back-formation from nitpicking, first used in the 1950s. Nitpick seems to refer to the tiresome job of picking lice nits from hair, wigs or clothes. Lice nits are the eggs of the insect pest, the louse.


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Examples

I could nitpick if I wished, and you might chose to do so post-viewing, but the picture works on a spiritual and emotional level beyond its core narrative. (Forbes Magazine)

Those who want to nitpick at Atlantic Jewel’s perfect record after nine starts could get the clash they want if the star mare lines up in Saturday’s Underwood Stakes at Caulfield, which comes at the dawn of a vintage spring. (The Canberra Times)

Ronald Reagan would not approve of George Osborne’s budgetary nitpicking to reduce deficit (The International Business Times)

When responding to a partisan hit piece, you have to make a decision whether to respond to everything and thus look nitpicky or to simply offer a clearer and more-accurate alternative. (The China Post)

The wearing of which, thanks to nitpicky reporters, turned into the prevailing theme before Tuesday afternoon’s practice. (The Calgary Herald)

But aside from a few nitpicky details, the movie has held up well, far better than SeaWorld’s dodgy denials. (The Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

From off-stage, the piercing voice of his wife Halie (Amy Madigan) shrieks out nitpicky barbs that Dodge remains sullenly oblivious to. (Broadway World)

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