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Scots pernickety, persnickety, of uncertain origin; the Dictionary of the Scots Language says that it resembles per- (intensifying prefix) + nick, but might be derived from particular + finicky with the form influenced by past participles ending in -et, -it, -ed.[1]





pernickety (comparative more pernickety, superlative most pernickety)

  1. (chiefly British) Fussy; paying undue attention to minor details; fastidious.
    Synonyms: niggly, (US) persnickety; see also Thesaurus:fastidious
    • 1953, Ian Fleming, chapter 8, in Casino Royale, page 48:
      ‘You must forgive me,’ he said. ‘I take a ridiculous pleasure in what I eat and drink. It comes partly from being a bachelor, but mostly from a habit of taking a lot of trouble over details. It’s very pernickety and old-maidish really, but then when I’m working I generally have to eat my meals alone and it makes them more interesting when one takes trouble.’
  2. Requiring attention to minor details.


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  1. ^ pernicketie” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.