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carp1

[kahrp]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil: to carp at minor errors.
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noun
  1. a peevish complaint.
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Origin of carp1

1200–50; Middle English carpen to speak, prate < Old Norse karpa to brag, wrangle
Related formscarp·er, noun

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

nagquibblercavilerscoldnitpickernigglernaggercavillerfaultfindercriticizercastigator

Examples from the Web for carper

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I damned every Carper into fiddlestrings from old Adam to old Columbus.

    Dwellers in the Hills

    Melville Davisson Post

  • There has never been an age that has not had its carper to tell you of the wonders that once were.

    Pike &amp; Cutlass

    George Gibbs

  • A carper might have said that Eddy was the least bit vague on the subject of the dear old days.

    The Man Upstairs

    P. G. Wodehouse

  • But she was civil even as she sighed, and he would have been a carper who complained.

    The President

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • After the Carper lease expired without renewal, the caretakers left.


British Dictionary definitions for carper

carp1

verb
  1. (intr often foll by at) to complain or find fault; nag pettily
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Derived Formscarper, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse karpa to boast; related to Latin carpere to pluck

carp2

noun plural carp or carps
  1. a freshwater teleost food fish, Cyprinus carpio, having a body covered with cycloid scales, a naked head, one long dorsal fin, and two barbels on each side of the mouth: family Cyprinidae
  2. any other fish of the family Cyprinidae; a cyprinid
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Related formsRelated adjectives: cyprinid, cyprinoid

Word Origin

C14: from Old French carpe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German karpfo, Old Norse karfi
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for carper

n.

mid-15c., "talker," agent noun from carp (v.).

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carp

n.

type of freshwater fish, late 14c., from Old French carpe "carp" (13c.) and directly from Vulgar Latin carpa (source also of Italian carpa, Spanish carpa), from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch carpe, Dutch karper, Old High German karpfo, German Karpfen "carp"); possibly the immediate source is Gothic *karpa. A Danube fish (hence the proposed East Germanic origin of its name), introduced in English ponds 14c. Lithuanian karpis, Russian karp are Germanic loan words.

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carp

v.

"complain," early 13c., originally "to talk," from Old Norse karpa "to brag," of unknown origin; meaning turned toward "find fault with" (late 14c.), probably by influence of Latin carpere "to slander, revile," literally "to pluck" (see harvest (n.)). Related: Carped; carping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper