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old-fashioned To remain vigilant or carefully watchful (for something or someone); to act as a guard or watch. The gang employed youths from the area to keep nit and give a signal if any police officers arrived. I offered to keep nit at the door, as I had no intention of risking my life in that creepy old house.
Someone who is overly inclined to point out or complain about every flaw they come across (in or about something), no matter how small, petty, or insignificant. Sometimes hyphenated or spelled as two separate words. You might write me off as just a nitpicker, but you'll appreciate it when you get an A+ on this paper. This is why I hate going to the movies with nit-pickers like you. Instead of just enjoying what we watch, you have to criticize every little flaw you can think of!
An act or instance of pointing out or complaining about every flaw that one comes across (in or about something), no matter how small, petty, or insignificant. Sometimes hyphenated. You might disregard my points as just nitpicking, but you'll appreciate it when you get an A+ on this paper. This is why I hate going to the movies with you. Instead of just enjoying what we watch, you spend the whole time nit-picking!
To look for and point out small, trivial, or insignificant problems, issues, or faults to criticize; to nitpick. I know I'm picking nits, but the color of your character's bandana changes slightly about three times over the course of the movie—it was really distracting! Look, your essay was really strong and very well put together on the whole. I'm just picking nits so that you can polish your next essay to an even higher standard.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
If someone picks nits, they point out small, unimportant problems or faults in something. If I had to pick nits, I'd say the service could be a little quicker. That aside, it was pretty much perfect. Note: The verb nitpick has a similar meaning, and there is also a much more frequent noun nitpicking. The critics, of course, nitpick — that's what they do. The book was the subject of seemingly endless academic nitpicking. Note: Nits are the sticky eggs laid by the head louse, a small insect that lives and breeds in human hair.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
keep nitkeep watch or act as a guard. Australian
Nit here is possibly an alteration of nix , a warning signal by schoolchildren that a teacher is approaching.
pick nitslook for and criticize small or insignificant faults or errors.
The image here is of the painstaking removal of tiny parasitic nits (lice or lice eggs) from someone's hair. The phrase originated in the mid 20th century, chiefly in North American usage.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
n. a person who is hypercritical. Mary is such a nit-picker!
n. too much minor criticism; overly particular criticism; nagging. Enough nit-picking! What are the major problems?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
To find fault in a petty way; nitpick.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Someone who bothers with tiny, trivial, unimportant details, in effect looking for mistakes. “Nit” alludes to the tiny eggs of the louse. The term dates from the mid-1900s.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer