Verb. To annoy, irrititate.
There’s nothing niggles me more than cutting myself shaving.
– A Kind of Loving, Stan Barstow (1960)
The word has had many different meanings over the years but ‘to annoy’ is the most recent and the one I like best.
It’s almost too cute not to use, isn’t it? It has a savory sound to it. If it bugs you – it gets under your skin or pinches. If it pisses you off – it makes you angy. If it perturbs you – you’re vocabulary is above average. If it niggles you… what is it exactly?
I would probably use it to describe the little annoyances in life. As in the above example, to cut one’s self shaving; to misplace keys; to oversleep just enough to make you rush though the morning routine…
I get very niggled when pop-up ads flood my screen. What niggles you?