One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verbEnglish Regional, US, East Asian
1with object To fiddle or toy with; to niggle or worry at.
2with object Literal. To uproot; to pick or scrape at, especially with a pointed instrument or with the fingers.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Joanna Baillie (1762–1851), playwright and poet. Origin uncertain; perhaps alteration of niggle, or perhaps compare piddle and pickle.
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