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June 2nd, 2019

Sunday Word: Niggle

niggle [nig-uh l ]
verb:

1 Cause slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety.

2 Criticize or annoy (someone) in a petty way
noun:

A trivial criticism, discomfort, or annoyance

Examples:

After playing a cameo role for 10-man Colombia in a 2-1 opening defeat to Japan due to a calf injury niggle, Rodriguez returned to the fray for a decisive performance in their 3-0 win over Poland. (Tilbury, Michael, Pekerman: 'I'm extremely concerned' about possible Rodriguez injury, Chicago Tribune)

And with that, Louise had to be content. So why then, did a little niggle of doubt remain? (Rosie Goodwin, The Bad Apple)

Thank you for the clarification … this question has niggled at me for a long time. (Joan Morris, Are hummingbirds getting hypothermia from chilled nectar? Mercury News)

Origin:

Early 17th century (in the sense 'do in an ineffectual way'): apparently of Scandinavian origin; compare with Norwegian nigla. Current senses date from the late 18th century. (Oxford English Dictionary)


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