follow Dictionary.com

9 Q Without U Words for Words With Friends

pettifog

[pet-ee-fog, -fawg] /ˈpɛt iˌfɒg, -ˌfɔg/
verb (used without object), pettifogged, pettifogging.
1.
to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
2.
to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
3.
to practice chicanery of any sort.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; back formation from pettifogger, equivalent to petty + fogger < Middle Low German voger or Middle Dutch voeger one who arranges things; akin to Old English gefōg a joining
Related forms
pettifogger, noun
pettifoggery, noun
Can be confused
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pettifogger
  • He never descended to the mean, tricky acts of a pettifogger, and his legal career was ever honorable and upright.
British Dictionary definitions for pettifogger

pettifogger

/ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡə/
noun
1.
a lawyer of inferior status who conducts unimportant cases, esp one who is unscrupulous or resorts to trickery
2.
any person who quibbles or fusses over details
Derived Forms
pettifoggery, noun
Word Origin
C16: from petty + fogger, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Fugger, name of a family (C15–16) of German financiers

pettifog

/ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡ/
verb -fogs, -fogging, -fogged
1.
(intransitive) to be a pettifogger
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pettifogger
n.

1560s, from petty; the second element possibly from obsolete Dutch focker, from Flemish focken "to cheat," or from cognate Middle English fugger, from Fugger the renowned family of merchants and financiers of 15c.-16c. Augsburg. In German, Flemish and Dutch, the name became a word for "monopolist, rich man, usurer."

A 'petty Fugger' would mean one who on a small scale practices the dishonourable devices for gain popularly attributed to great financiers; it seems possible that the phrase 'petty fogger of the law,' applied in this sense to some notorious person, may have caught the popular fancy. [OED first edition, in a rare burst of pure speculation]
However, OED also calls attention to pettifactor "legal agent who undertakes small cases" (1580s), which, though attested slightly later, might be the source of this. Related: Pettifoggery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pettifog

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pettifogger

18
0
Scrabble Words With Friends