9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pes-kee] /ˈpɛs ki/
adjective, peskier, peskiest. Informal.
annoyingly troublesome:
bothered by a pesky fly.
Origin of pesky
1765-75; alteration of pesty (pest + -y1)
Related forms
peskily, adverb
peskiness, noun
vexatious, irksome, bothersome, pestiferous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pesky
  • We don't spend eight hours a day at one site with a pesky boss constantly looking over our shoulders.
  • He climbs an adjacent tree and attempts to knock the pesky clump down, but it refuses to yield.
  • Keep a special eye out for a pesky poltergeist: rumor has it that he's knocked over a tripod or two.
  • There were always the pesky squirrels wreaking havoc with our best-laid plans.
  • Manufacturers and factory owners needn't worry about pesky human workers for too much longer.
  • Unlike the common cold, a far more familiar family plague during the school year, strep throat is much more than a pesky illness.
  • It's according to your style manual, and it will cost less to mail to those pesky peer-reviewers.
  • Conventional and organic gardening methods allow different types of insecticides to control those pesky bugs.
  • Those pesky ancestors seem to have been wandering all over the place.
  • But often the real problem is those pesky office workers.
British Dictionary definitions for pesky


adjective peskier, peskiest
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) troublesome: pesky flies
Derived Forms
peskily, adverb
peskiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably changed from pesty; see pest
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 pesky

1775, originally in New England dialect, perhaps a dialectal formation from pest (cf. plaguy "confounded, annoying, disagreeable"). Partridge suggests an origin in Essex dialect.

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



Vexatious; annoying; pesty

[1775+; origin unknown]

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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