split hairs


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split hairs

To make or focus on trivial or petty details, differences, or distinctions. I'm sorry to split hairs, but your portion of the bill is $25.97, not $25.79. I actually think it was your responsibility, not Dave's, but let's not split hairs about it.
See also: hair, split

split hairs

Fig. to quibble; to try to make petty distinctions. They don't have any serious differences. They are just splitting hairs. Don't waste time splitting hairs. Accept it the way it is.
See also: hair, split

split hairs

Make trivial distinctions, quibble, as in Let's not split hairs about whose turn it is; I'll close up today and you do it tomorrow. This metaphoric idiom transfers dividing so fine an object as a single hair to other petty divisions. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: hair, split

split hairs

If someone splits hairs, they argue about very small details or find very small differences between things which are really very similar. More than half the cases they complained about were not, in fact, on Garzon's list, but let's not split hairs. Don't split hairs. You know what I'm getting at. Note: You can also accuse someone of hair-splitting. We were becoming impatient with hair-splitting over legal technicalities.
See also: hair, split

split hairs

make small and overfine distinctions.
This expression was first recorded in the late 17th century. Split straws, dating from the 19th century, is a less common version.
See also: hair, split

split ˈhairs

(disapproving) pay too much attention in an argument to differences that are very small and not important: You might think I’m just splitting hairs, but what exactly do you mean by ‘a significant improvement’? ▶ ˈhair-splitting noun
See also: hair, split

split hairs

To see or make trivial distinctions; quibble.
See also: hair, split
References in periodicals archive ?
NOT ONE to split hairs - the Contemporary Hair Doctor experts took to the streets of Middlesbrough on Saturday to offer the public the latest hair advice.
But, as I said, you can't split hairs about this kind of thing.
I understand the slow-motion replay shows the defender touched the ball but we can split hairs all we want about decisions.
We can equivocate, split hairs and rationalize as much as we want, but the simple fact is that the average American wants an independent counsel.
This news makes Rooney look exceptionally bright and not the kind of guy who spends PS30,000 on a hair transplant and still suffers from split hairs.
Restaurant Magazine editor Paul Wootton said: "Whether you chew over it, split hairs or draw up a hit list of places you've just got to visit, the Top UK Restaurants 2008 will no doubt re-ignite debate about the nation's restaurant scene.
He split hairs by shaving off hall his beard last week and the other hall today.
And when she asked about pay and holiday entitlement, she claimed she was told: "Don't split hairs.
Its proponents split hairs while Alison seeks only to ease her daughter's path in life.