Quirky or eccentric; having peculiar habits or manners


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



peculiar, odd, eccentric, quirky, idiosyncratic


normal, conventional, typical

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun crotchets, crotchet, crotchetinesses, crotchetiness
Verb None
Adjective crotchety
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The crotchety old man would grumble and complain about even the smallest inconveniences.

  • Her crotchety mood was evident as she snapped at everyone around her without provocation.

  • The crotchety customer would always find something to criticize, making it challenging to satisfy their demands.

  • Despite his crotchety demeanor, he had a soft spot for animals and would often volunteer at the local shelter.


The word “crotchety” originated from the Middle English term “crotchety,” which meant “cross” or “contrary.” It is used to describe individuals who are irritable, easily annoyed, or prone to being ill-tempered. “Crotchety” is an adjective that denotes a disposition marked by grumpiness, stubbornness, or a propensity for complaining.

The origin of “crotchety” is uncertain, but it may have connections to the word “crotchet,” which referred to a small hook or the symbol used in music notation. This association suggests a sense of being caught or stuck in a particular mindset or behavior.

The usage of “crotchety” often pertains to people who are easily irritated or who display a tendency to complain or find fault with others. It implies a state of being difficult to please or satisfy due to their irritable nature. “Crotchety” describes a person’s disposition or attitude, highlighting their inclination to be grumpy or negative.

Variations of the word “crotchety” include the adverb form “crotchetily,” which describes actions or behaviors that are characteristic of crotchetiness.

Understanding the history and usage of “crotchety” reminds us of the importance of empathy and patience when dealing with individuals who may be prone to irritability or complaining. It encourages us to approach such individuals with understanding and kindness, recognizing that their crotchety nature may stem from underlying factors or personal experiences.