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I searched on Google - but mainly find "difficult" / "demanding". I am just wondering if there is any more appropriate word?

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closed as general reference by tenfour, Urbycoz, MετάEd, Cameron, tchrist Aug 15 '12 at 18:05

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

thesaurus.com is a great place to get lists of words. – Matt E. Эллен Aug 15 '12 at 9:43
How about a person that "has high standards?" – tenfour Aug 15 '12 at 10:04
I'd've said yours truly, but that's two words. :) – tchrist Aug 15 '12 at 18:05
@tchrist lol :) – HappyApe Aug 16 '12 at 11:25
up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to Thesaurus here is the list of words:

Main Entry: hard-to-please
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: extremely particular
Synonyms: choosy, critical, demanding, detailed, finicky, fussy, meticulous, nit-picking, particular, picky, scrutinizing Antonyms: undemanding

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Persnickety, “Fastidious or fussy”; “Obsessive about mundane details, demanding for precision” is good in this context, and also fastidious, “Excessively particular, demanding, or fussy about details”; “Difficult to please; quick to find fault”.

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The term scrupulous is often used to indicate a demanding nature, often with regard to ones own behaviour. Webster's Collegiate defines it as

extremely careful to do the precisely right, proper, or correct thing in every last detail

Another option is punctilious, also often used to describe the conduct of the decribed person. Collins defines it as

1.paying scrupulous attention to correctness in etiquette

2.attentive to detail

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The thesaurus yields a few alternatives, but I think the most suitable would is:


Definition: Grouchy, hard to please

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It just feels like its a bit negative like quarrelsome ( complaining) – HappyApe Aug 15 '12 at 9:31
Isn't that what you want? – Urbycoz Aug 15 '12 at 9:41
mmm - just something neutral – HappyApe Aug 15 '12 at 9:50

For a neutral option, you could use "selective", or "discriminating", so long as your context makes it clear that the discrimination exercised is not racist, sexist, etc.

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I often hear high-maintenance bandied about for this sort of person:

(figuratively, pejorative, of a person) requiring a lot of attention or reassurance; emotionally needy

It suggests someone who requires a lot of work i.e. is difficult to please.

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