Tuesday, February 5, 2013


punctilio [pʌŋkˈtɪliˌoʊ] n.

1.) A minute detail of action or conduct; a nice point of behaviour, ceremony, or honour; a small or petty formality. Formerly sometimes, A fine-drawn or fastidious objection, a scruple.
2.) (without pl.) Strict observance of or insistence upon minutiæ of action or conduct; petty formality in behaviour; punctiliousness (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: adoption of Italian puntiglio and Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto, point, from Latin punctum, from neuter past participle of pungere, to prick.

"Eumenes had designed to engage in the plains of Lydia, near Sardis, both because his chief strength lay in horse, and to let Cleopatra see how powerful he was. But at her particular request, for she was afraid to give any umbrage to Antipater, he marched into the upper Phrygia, and wintered in Celaenae; when Alcetas, Polemon, and Docimus disputing with him who should command in chief, 'You know,' said he, 'the old saying: That destruction regards no punctilios'" (Plutarch's Lives Translated From the Greek by Several Hands, John Dryden (trans.), 1683).

(Teatime, Georges Croegaert, ~1900)


Debra She Who Seeks said...

So punctilious!

Poke The Rock said...

this one is much easier to understand, I could even use it!

Meri said...

this is a funny one, but I like that it included one of my other favorite words, scruple!

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