Carp



to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil:
to carp at minor errors.
a peevish complaint.
a large freshwater cyprinid fish, Cyprinus carpio, native to Asia but widely introduced in tropical and temperate waters: an important food fish in many countries.
any of various other fishes of the family Cyprinidae.
a combining form occurring in compounds that denote a part of a fruit or fruiting body:
endocarp.
carpentry.
Contemporary Examples

Bringing in more revenue than most African governments is hardly reason to carp.
Google 2011 Results Show Growth, But Can Tech Giant Thrive in Long Run? Zachary Karabell January 19, 2012

Made with roe from mullet, carp, cod, lobsters, or even crab, taramasalata—salty, creamy, bright, with little pops!
What to Eat: Mediterranean Feast Cookstr.com October 5, 2009

Instead, they gave Americans tax cuts, defense hikes, and middle class spending, leaving Democrats to carp about deficits.
Why Obama Can Spend, Spend, Spend Peter Beinart December 23, 2008

Historical Examples

Vobla is a kind of fish of the size of Prussian carp, and is caught in the Volga.
The Duel A. I. Kuprin

Let ’em carp until they’re as black in the face as a German carp.
Cobb’s Bill-of-Fare Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

A forge was erected on the carp River in 1847, making four blooms a day, each about four feet long and eight inches thick.
The Seat of Empire Charles Carleton Coffin

Without waiting for a reply, she went to carp, who was again at his work.
Nobody’s Girl Hector Malot

I find a disposition to carp at the settlement of the French quarrel, though without any good reason.
The Greville Memoirs (Third Part) Volume II (of II) Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville

The day before she had only had a little cup of soup that carp had given her.
Nobody’s Girl Hector Malot

The women were not finding it amusing, and the men sat watching for anything they could carp at.
Pelle the Conqueror, Complete Martin Anderson Nexo

verb
(intransitive) often foll by at. to complain or find fault; nag pettily
noun (pl) carp, carps
a freshwater teleost food fish, Cyprinus carpio, having a body covered with cycloid scales, a naked head, one long dorsal fin, and two barbels on each side of the mouth: family Cyprinidae
any other fish of the family Cyprinidae; a cyprinid
combining form
(in botany) fruit or a reproductive structure that develops into a particular part of the fruit: epicarp
n.

type of freshwater fish, late 14c., from Old French carpe “carp” (13c.) and directly from Vulgar Latin carpa (source also of Italian carpa, Spanish carpa), from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch carpe, Dutch karper, Old High German karpfo, German Karpfen “carp”); possibly the immediate source is Gothic *karpa. A Danube fish (hence the proposed East Germanic origin of its name), introduced in English ponds 14c. Lithuanian karpis, Russian karp are Germanic loan words.
v.

“complain,” early 13c., originally “to talk,” from Old Norse karpa “to brag,” of unknown origin; meaning turned toward “find fault with” (late 14c.), probably by influence of Latin carpere “to slander, revile,” literally “to pluck” (see harvest (n.)). Related: Carped; carping.
carpenter
carpentry

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