Pettifogger



[pet-ee-fog, -fawg] /ˈpɛt iˌfɒg, -ˌfɔg/

verb (used without object), pettifogged, pettifogging.
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.
/ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡə/
noun
1.
a lawyer of inferior status who conducts unimportant cases, esp one who is unscrupulous or resorts to trickery
2.
any person who quibbles or fusses over details
/ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡ/
verb -fogs, -fogging, -fogged
1.
(intransitive) to be a pettifogger
n.

1560s, from petty; the second element possibly from obsolete Dutch focker, from Flemish focken “to cheat,” or from cognate Middle English fugger, from Fugger the renowned family of merchants and financiers of 15c.-16c. Augsburg. In German, Flemish and Dutch, the name became a word for “monopolist, rich man, usurer.”

A ‘petty Fugger’ would mean one who on a small scale practices the dishonourable devices for gain popularly attributed to great financiers; it seems possible that the phrase ‘petty fogger of the law,’ applied in this sense to some notorious person, may have caught the popular fancy. [OED first edition, in a rare burst of pure speculation]

However, OED also calls attention to pettifactor “legal agent who undertakes small cases” (1580s), which, though attested slightly later, might be the source of this. Related: Pettifoggery.

Tagged:

Read Also:

  • Pettifoggery

    [pet-ee-fog, -fawg] /ˈpɛt iˌfɒg, -ˌfɔg/ verb (used without object), pettifogged, pettifogging. 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. /ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡ/ verb -fogs, -fogging, -fogged 1. (intransitive) to be a pettifogger

  • Pettifogging

    [pet-ee-fog-ing, -faw-ging] /ˈpɛt iˌfɒg ɪŋ, -ˌfɔ gɪŋ/ adjective 1. insignificant; petty: pettifogging details. 2. dishonest or unethical in insignificant matters; meanly petty. [pet-ee-fog, -fawg] /ˈpɛt iˌfɒg, -ˌfɔg/ verb (used without object), pettifogged, pettifogging. 1. to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters. 2. to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business. 3. […]



  • Pettiness

    [pet-ee] /ˈpɛt i/ adjective, pettier, pettiest. 1. of little or no importance or consequence: petty grievances. 2. of lesser or secondary importance, merit, etc.; minor: petty considerations. 3. having or showing narrow ideas, interests, etc.: petty minds. 4. mean or ungenerous in small or trifling things: a petty person. 5. showing or caused by meanness […]

  • Pettily

    [pet-ee] /ˈpɛt i/ adjective, pettier, pettiest. 1. of little or no importance or consequence: petty grievances. 2. of lesser or secondary importance, merit, etc.; minor: petty considerations. 3. having or showing narrow ideas, interests, etc.: petty minds. 4. mean or ungenerous in small or trifling things: a petty person. 5. showing or caused by meanness […]



Disclaimer: Pettifogger definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.