to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil:
to carp at minor errors.
a peevish complaint.
Contemporary Examples

“I think Jane Holl Lute would be a terrific candidate, and I urge the president to consider her,” carper said.
Lute, Allen Top Congressional Wish List for DHS Josh Rogin July 15, 2013

carper described Allen as a “very fine person” and said either Lute or Allen would be fine.
Lute, Allen Top Congressional Wish List for DHS Josh Rogin July 15, 2013

“Part of our responsibility is to vet nominees, not to kill nominees, not to hold them forever,” carper said.
Alejandro Mayorkas’s DHS Nomination Held Up Over IG Investigation Josh Rogin July 30, 2013

carper said Lute would get through the Senate quickly and easily.
Lute, Allen Top Congressional Wish List for DHS Josh Rogin July 15, 2013

The IG office opened the investigation last September based on a referral from the FBI, but its progress is unclear, carper said.
Alejandro Mayorkas’s DHS Nomination Held Up Over IG Investigation Josh Rogin July 30, 2013

Historical Examples

A carper might have said that Eddy was the least bit vague on the subject of the dear old days.
The Man Upstairs P. G. Wodehouse

There has never been an age that has not had its carper to tell you of the wonders that once were.
Pike & Cutlass George Gibbs

The man so meagrely furnished as to hold no such idea is but a carper, not a critic.
Essays sthetical George Calvert

But she was civil even as she sighed, and he would have been a carper who complained.
The President Alfred Henry Lewis

We are far from sharing the opinion of a carper who remarked that, as sermons go, this volume is rather dear.
Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote

(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

mid-15c., “talker,” agent noun from carp (v.).

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.

“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.


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