9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[per-snik-i-tee] /pərˈsnɪk ɪ ti/
adjective, Informal.
overparticular; fussy.
snobbish or having the aloof attitude of a snob.
requiring painstaking care.
Also, pernickety.
Origin of persnickety
1885-90; orig. Scots, variant of pernickety
Related forms
persnicketiness, noun
1. nitpicking, finicky. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for persnickety
  • He was not persnickety about his beaches, though he preferred those on the ocean.
  • The bankers, persnickety folks that they were, required that buyers demonstrate sufficient income to qualify for a mortgage.
  • How to get persnickety enzymes to do all those things that.
  • The other consists of regional supermarkets that quietly satisfy persnickety tastes with mellow prices.
  • At dinner parties, he demands persnickety vegetarian meals and then refuses to eat them.
  • Once again, the search function proves to be either useless or extremely persnickety.
  • Cardboard boxes, dusty paperbacks and remote controls have not been cleared away by persnickety stylists.
  • If my father is persnickety about his strawberries, he is equally so on the subject of strawberry shortcake.
  • In the kitchen, persnickety attention to detail is the norm.
  • Perhaps it was a fabulous space with persnickety roommates.
British Dictionary definitions for persnickety


adjective (informal)
excessively precise and attentive to detail; fussy
(of a task) requiring close attention; exacting
Derived Forms
pernicketiness, (US) persnicketiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: originally Scottish, of unknown origin


the US word for pernickety
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for persnickety

1889, alteration of pernickety (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for persnickety



Overfastidious; finical; fussy

[first form 1905+, second 1814+; fr Scots dialect]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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