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Nice vs Dainty vs Fastidious vs Finicky vs Finicking vs Finical vs Particular vs Fussy vs Squeamish vs Persnickety vs Pernickety

Nicedaintyfastidiousfinickyfinickingfinicalparticularfussysqueamishpersnicketypernickety can all mean exacting or displaying exacting standards (as in selection, judgment, or workmanship).

Nice (see also CORRECT DECOROUS ) implies fineness of discrimination and power to distinguish the very good from the merely good; the term may connote more of intellectual quality than the other words.

Nice is also applicable to questions or problems which require such powers of discrimination and subtlety or delicacy in handling if the solution is to be found.

Dainty (see also CHOICE ) usually implies a tendency to select carefully what does, or to reject with more or less disdain what does not, satisfy one’s extremely delicate taste or sensibility; it usually connotes chariness or a tendency to pick and choose, especially in eating.

Fastidious implies a strong aversion to something that does not satisfy one’s sense of what is right, proper, or in good taste; it may suggest the possession of ethical, artistic, social, or other standards that are so high that they impose a strain upon those who would meet them or that cause suffering to the possessor when they are not satisfied or that foster extreme care in selection from what is offered or available.

Finicky and finicking as well as the less common finical imply an affected or overnice fastidiousness.

Particular implies an insistence that all details or circumstances must be exactly as one wishes them or that one’s special or peculiar standards must be met. In contrast with fastidious, particular need not imply what others would call a high standard; the term usually suggests standards which the individual regards as high or exacting.

Fussy is applicable not only to fastidious or particular persons and to acts that manifest a disposition to be querulous or fidgety, but also to things that are especially difficult or complicated.

Squeamish implies a tendency to be easily nauseated by the sight, taste, smell, or hearing of something disagreeable. In its extended use it implies a disgust for or an aversion to anything that does not satisfy one’s standards of what is decent, delicate, or nice; it therefore sometimes connotes extreme sensitiveness or prudishness or scrupulousness.

Persnickety and pernickety convey the user’s reaction of annoyance, exasperation, or disgust toward persons who are unduly fussy or finical, or tasks or problems that are so delicate or complicated as to impose severe strain on one’s patience and good temper.