1 [kahrp]
verb (used without object)
to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil: to carp at minor errors.
a peevish complaint.

1200–50; Middle English carpen to speak, prate < Old Norse karpa to brag, wrangle

carper, noun

1. criticize, deprecate, condemn, censure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
carp1 (kɑːp)
n , pl carp, carps
1.  a freshwater teleost food fish, Cyprinus carpio, having a body covered with cycloid scales, a naked head, one long dorsal fin, and two barbels on each side of the mouth: family Cyprinidae
2.  any other fish of the family Cyprinidae; a cyprinid
Related: cyprinid, cyprinoid
[C14: from Old French carpe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German karpfo, Old Norse karfi]

carp2 (kɑːp)
vb (often foll by at)
to complain or find fault; nag pettily
[C13: from Old Norse karpa to boast; related to Latin carpere to pluck]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"fish," 1393, from O.Fr. carpe, from V.L. carpa (c.575), possibly from Gothic *karpa. A Danube fish (hence the E.Gmc. origin of its name), introduced in Eng. ponds 14c.

"complain," c.1240, from O.N. karpa "to brag," of unknown origin; meaning turned toward "find fault," probably by infl. of L. carpere "to slander, revile," lit. "to pluck" (see harvest).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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