- Pettifog is to argue over unimportant things.
An example of pettifog is to fight over who is going to be the first person to read the newspaper on a certain morning.
(third-person singular simple present pettifogs, present participle pettifogging, simple past and past participle pettifogged)
Back-formation from pettifogger.
Variant of pettifogger
- a lawyer who handles petty cases, esp. one who uses unethical methods in conducting trumped-up cases
- a trickster; cheater
- a quibbler; caviler
Origin of pettifoggerpetty + obsolete fogger ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps