Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR PETTIFOGGER

Bear witness, I pray you all,” said the Pettifogger, “as to what the knave called me.

I never said you were a pettifogger, or a scoundrel; but I did say you were little Else.

He was a pettifogger; their (the Smiths') cat-paw to do their dirty work.

Now which was the best pedigree, that of the son of the pastry-cook, or that of the son of the pettifogger?

Now, which was the best pedigree, that of the son of the pastry-cook, or that of the son of the pettifogger?

Anything can be proved by two false witnesses—thinks the pettifogger.

In the first place, the pettifogger made a large haul for his services.

He is akin to the street boy in his habits, and to the pettifogger by fate.

My opponent was what was known in the States as a pettifogger.

He perhaps mistakes me for what you call a—a pettifogger, is it not?

WORD ORIGIN

1560s, from petty; the second element possibly from obsolete Dutch focker, from Flemish focken "to cheat," or from cognate Middle English fugger, from Fugger the renowned family of merchants and financiers of 15c.-16c. Augsburg. In German, Flemish and Dutch, the name became a word for "monopolist, rich man, usurer."

However, OED also calls attention to pettifactor "legal agent who undertakes small cases" (1580s), which, though attested slightly later, might be the source of this. Related: Pettifoggery.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR PETTIFOGGER

ambulance chaser

noununethical lawyer
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.