A picayune was a Spanish coin, worth half a real. As a result it came to mean something petty, trivial; of little consequence; small and of little importance; picayunish; something not worth arguing about.
According to Jim Wegryn "In 1837, George Wilkins Kendall began a newspaper in the capital of Louisiana which he called the New Orleans Picayune. By 1914, the Daily Picayune as it was then called merged with a competing paper (formed from two others), the New Orleans Times-Democrat. It was known for a time as the Times-Democrat, the Daily Picayune. Eventually the new publication became simply the Times-Picayune."
Words and Phrases - To Spend a Penny
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