cavil at

cavil at (one)

To complain to one about someone or something, especially in a way that one finds annoying. If you hate your job so much, quit caviling at me about it and look for a new one!
See also: cavil
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cavil at someone

to find fault with someone; to complain about someone constantly. Will you never cease caviling at all of us? There is no need to cavil at me day and night!
See also: cavil
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
The old navy in its last days earned a fame that no belittling malevolence dare cavil at. And this supreme favour they owe to their adversaries alone.
Her eyes, a deep grey, with dark eyelashes and eyebrows, had never been denied their praise; but the skin, which she had been used to cavil at, as wanting colour, had a clearness and delicacy which really needed no fuller bloom.
The lad was too thirsty by now to cavil at anything even remotely resembling water, so he drank his fill while Akut stood with raised head, alert for any danger.
Anne, far from wishing to cavil at the pleasure, replied, "I can easily believe it.
We also cavil at the cost of Kirklees employing people to enforce the laws and rules but expect a pristine countryside.
But only a die-hard would cavil at the mistakes - nail extensions were not popular in the Tang Dynasty gold clothing was restricted to the emperor, etc - in a film that luxuriates in its own over-the-top style.
That they offer such innocuous ways of doing so (choose a badge; agree with or cavil at a political statement) suggests a somewhat melancholic estimation of the audience's mental torpor: For all the comic crapulence of their audience-participation activities, the Smiths are social anatomists and oblique tacticians rather than jokers.
No-one could cavil at England playing an international in the North-East, where the fans are fanatical and well-informed.
If one is to cavil at all, I am not sure the book is much enhanced towards the end by 14 pages of quotes from the press and I think this space could have been better used - perhaps by reproducing some of Hen's comprehensive collection of mind-bogglingly rude faxes.
Ditto, as far as an extension is concerned (I know Mr Redwood's not Welsh but he had such a feeling for the country while Secretary of State that surely no one would cavil at his inclusion).
Of course, it would be mean-spirited to cavil at so hoary a classic's continuing rebirths.
Here too is a cavil at the suggestion that it was Goldwater who broke the consensus--because, in fact, LBJ was elected in 1964 with 61 percent of the vote (then the greatest presidential landslide in history), carrying 44 states and huge majorities in both houses of Congress.
Purists may cavil at the apparent lack of depth, and tyro re-engineers may wish for more detail, but there is a reading list which briefly reviews each recommended title.
While it is clear that the budget for John Greyson's film far exceeded that of, for example, Cockroach, one can hardly cavil at the cost of his adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard's play.
Those who would cavil at that would probably also object to Peter Pan as unrealistic and The Wind in the Willows as farfetched.