These critics can take some consolation by looking at the recent rehabilitation of Hamilton Grange, the upper Manhattan house built by founding father Alexander Hamilton. It shows just how persnickety a preservation project can be.
-- Robbie Whelan, "Historic Home on the Grange," The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2011
The point here is to make your animal understand that its upstairs neighbour is exceptionally persnickety about territory.
-- Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Persnickety dates back to the late 1800s. It is a variant of the Scots word pernickety, which is of uncertain origin. Pernickety is perhaps related to other Scots words with the per- prefix, like perskeet which meant "fastidious."