One who obstinately maintains some custom or opinion; as a
stickler for Church government. (See below.)
A stickler about trifles.
One particular about things of no moment. Sticklers were the
seconds in ancient single combats, very punctilious about the minutest
points of etiquette. They were so called from the white stick which
they carried in emblem of their office.
“I am willing ... to give thee precedence, and content myself with
the humbler office of stickler.” —Sir Walter Scott: Fair Maid of
Perth, chap. xvi.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894