Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday February 28, 2012
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.
Marius, my boy, you are a baron, you are rich, don't pettifog, I beg of you.
-- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Naturally, the wonderful tubers Brillat-Savarin dug up and dished out lacked the penultimate refinements of washing and cooking, but it would've been gauche to pettifog.
-- Elizabeth Gundy, The Disappearance of Gregory Pluckrose
Pettifog comes from the Middle Dutch word voeger meaning one who arranges things and the word petty meaning insignificant.