niggle

[nig-uhl]
verb (used without object), niggled, niggling.
1.
to criticize, especially constantly or repeatedly, in a peevish or petty way; carp: to niggle about the fine points of interpretation; preferring to niggle rather than take steps to correct a situation.
2.
to spend too much time and effort on inconsequential details: It's difficult to be meticulous and not niggle.
3.
to work ineffectively; trifle: to niggle with an uninteresting task.

Origin:
1610–20; < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian nigla to be penurious (ultimately < Old Norse hnøggr stingy, cognate with Old English hnēaw); cf. niggard

niggler, noun
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World English Dictionary
niggle (ˈnɪɡəl)
 
vb
1.  (intr) to find fault continually
2.  (intr) to be preoccupied with details; fuss
3.  (tr) to irritate; worry
 
n
4.  a slight or trivial objection or complaint
5.  a slight feeling as of misgiving, uncertainty, etc
 
[C16: from Scandinavian; related to Norwegian nigla. Compare niggard]
 
'niggler
 
n
 
'niggly
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

niggle
1599 (implied in niggling), possibly from a Scand. source (cf. Norw. dial. nigla "be busy with trifles"), perhaps related to source of niggard.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It's a niggle but someone might want to point out to the headline writer that empathic does not mean the same thing as empathetic.
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