English edit

Etymology edit

fly +‎ speck

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)

Noun edit

flyspeck (plural flyspecks or flyspeck)

  1. Housefly excrement, visible as a minuscule black dot.
    The wall of the kitchen above the fruitbowl was dotted with flyspeck.
  2. (by extension) Anything tiny or insignificant.
    Hyponym: (always a person) pissant
    From the foothills below, Jean, Jan, and James were mere flyspecks, easily lost among the straggly pines that formed the treeline.
    We passed through some flyspeck town, barely more than a gas station and a stoplight, but I never saw the name.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Verb edit

flyspeck (third-person singular simple present flyspecks, present participle flyspecking, simple past and past participle flyspecked)

  1. To bespeckle with tiny spatters of color.
    • 2008, Priscilla Hauser, Priscilla Hauser's Book of Painting Patterns, →ISBN, page 15:
      To flyspeck, you need an old toothbrush, the paint color of your choice, glazing medium, a palette knife, and a mixing surface such as a palette or plastic container.
  2. To inspect in minute detail to ensure that something contains no flaws; nitpick.
    • 1996, Richard Delgado, The Rodrigo Chronicles: Conversations About America and Race, →ISBN:
      Your criticism will seem like flyspecking. They'll be mad at you for pointing out that there's more crime than they like to think, and especially mad that you're saying their own group—privileged middle-aged white males—are just as bad as young African-American inner-city toughs, walking the streets in packs of four and looking mean.