"Pert" can also describe a personality that is cute and bold in a positive way.
Technical usage: "P.E.R.T." or "PERT" is often used as an acronym in project management. It stands for "Performance Review & Evaluation Technique." It is a method of organizing interdependent tasks in a project.
—to turn into some pert-mouthed, strident angry-girl.
Gillian Flynn -- Gone Girl
Celaena rapped a finger on the queen’s pert nose.
Sarah J. Maas -- Throne of Glass
"Not bad," said a pert voice from the Potter’s Field, behind him.
Neil Gaiman -- The Graveyard Book
A few days with Miss Greene and already it looked pert and alive.
Becca Fitzpatrick -- Hush, Hush
"Dern your skin, ain’t the company good enough for you?" says the baldhead, pretty pert and uppish.
Mark Twain -- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
As he was carried past they made pert remarks to him.
Stephen Crane -- The Red Badge of Courage
He turned to the Torrances as she strolled away, backside twitching pertly.
Stephen King -- The Shining
THESEUS Go, Philostrate, Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth; Turn melancholy forth to funerals— The pale companion is not for our pomp.
William Shakespeare -- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
"Tell us," said Mahony pertly to the man, "how many have you yourself?"
James Joyce -- Dubliners
He many a time spoke sternly to me about my pertness; and averred that the stab of a knife could not inflict a worse pang than he suffered at seeing his lady vexed.
Emily Bronte -- Wuthering Heights
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LIZA [pertly] You’d better leave a note for Mrs. Pearce about the coffee; for she won’t be told by me.
George Bernard Shaw -- Pygmalion
Those goody-goody girls, flipping perfect cartwheels and pert little ponytails, most definitely accelerated their metabolisms.
Ellen Hopkins -- Crank
— Now come, my Ariel! bring a corollary, Rather than want a spirit: appear, and pertly.
William Shakespeare -- The Tempest
Should any unwarrantably pert young Leviathan coming that way, presume to draw confidentially close to one of the ladies, with what prodigious fury the Bashaw assails him, and chases him away!
Herman Melville -- Moby Dick
Smith’s head-the stiff Indian hair, the Irish-Indian blending of dark skip and pert, impish features-reminded him of the suspect’s pretty sister, the nice Mrs. Johnson.
Truman Capote -- In Cold Blood
You look pert this mornin’, sir.
Michael Shaara -- The Killer Angels
With old gentlemen, a girl was pert and saucy and almost, but not quite, flirtatious, so that the old fools’ vanities would be tickled.
Margaret Mitchell -- Gone with the Wind
"I did put it back," said Anne quickly—pertly, Marilla thought.
Lucy Maud Montgomery -- Anne Of Green Gables
Passepartout was by no means one of those pert dunces depicted by Moliere with a bold gaze and a nose held high in the air; he was an honest fellow, with a pleasant face, lips a trifle protruding, soft-mannered and serviceable, with a good round head, such as one likes to see on the shoulders of a friend.
Jules Verne -- Around the World in 80 Days
His eyes went to the brown skirt, to the tailored jacket, costly and cold like a uniform, to the hand with a hole in the finger of an expensive glove, to the lapel that bore a preposterous ornament—a bow-legged Mexican with red-enameled pants—stuck there in a clumsy attempt at pertness; to the thin lips, to the glasses, to the eyes.
Ayn Rand -- The Fountainhead
A pert servant, Master Samwise.
J.R.R. Tolkien -- The Two Towers
"Yes, she did," said another Squirrel, even perter.
C.S. Lewis -- The Silver Chair
This is no time for hobbit pertness.
J.R.R. Tolkien -- The Return of the King
—Here cometh the worthy prelate, as pert as a pyet.
Sir Walter Scott -- Ivanhoe
We been living in Knoxvul since pert near two years before Rufus was born.
James Agee -- A Death in the Family
It was that made me angry: and so pert: and so unkind: and so ungrateful.
William Makepeace Thackeray -- Vanity Fair
I have been but half a friend to her; and if she were not to feel this disappointment so very much, I am sure I have not an idea of any body else who would be at all desirable for her;—William Coxe—Oh! no, I could not endure William Coxe—a pert young lawyer.
Jane Austen -- Emma
So you, a pert Puss, would look upon him face to face.
C.S. Lewis -- The Last Battle
I found myself unpleasantly affected by pert little irreverencies which would have seemed but proper and airy graces of speech at an earlier period of my life.
Mark Twain -- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
A pert little thing, that’s what she was too often, with her tight-strained nerves.
Thomas Hardy -- Jude the Obscure
I remembered her tripping briskly about the dining-room on her high heels, carrying a big trayful of dishes, glancing rather pertly at the spruce travelling men, and contemptuously at the scrubby ones—who were so afraid of her that they didn’t dare to ask for two kinds of pie.
Willa Cather -- My Antonia
An odious, little, pert, unnatural, impudent girl.
Jane Austen -- Mansfield Park
The pert, meagre word fell to the ground.
E.M. Forster -- A Passage to India
Sometimes Dick could hear Abe’s voice, accompanied by scufflings, droppings of the receiver, far-away fragments such as, "No, I don’t, Mr. North…… " Then a pert decided voice had said: "If you are a friend of Mr. North you will come down and take him away."
F. Scott Fitzgerald -- Tender is the Night
Then, after this deliverance, which might have been that of a vulgarly pert little girl in the street, she hugged Mrs. Grose more closely and buried in her skirts the dreadful little face.
Henry James -- The Turn of the Screw
Even in the dark, I can practically feel her pert little nose wrinkling in distaste.
Libba Bray -- A Great and Terrible Beauty
One of them very pertly and readily answered, ’they would use them as both,’ _Gentlemen_, said I _as you are your own masters, I am not going to restrain you from that; but methinks, for avoiding dissentions among you, I would only desire you to engage, that none of you will take more than one for a woman or wife, and that having taken this one, none else should presume to touch her; for though we have not yet a priestly authority to marry you, yet it is but reasonable, that whoever…
Daniel Defoe -- Robinson Crusoe
The pert injunction was like those crystal substances which, colourless themselves, assume the tone of objects about them.
Thomas Hardy -- Far from the Madding Crowd
Father said I was being pert.
Gloria Whelan -- Listening for Lions
This project could not be of any great expense to the public; and might in my poor opinion, be of much use for the despatch of business, in those countries where senates have any share in the legislative power; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few mouths which are now closed, and close many more which are now open; curb the petulancy of the young, and correct the positiveness of the old; rouse the stupid, and damp the pert.
Jonathan Swift -- Gulliver’s Travels
And whereas the wife of the eldest son shrank away when he looked at her and hid her face behind her sleeve, this one laughed out, good humored and robust as she was, and she answered pertly, "Well, and some men like a taste of hot radish, or a bite of red meat."
Pearl S. Buck -- The Good Earth
She was pert and perfect and had the tiniest little ears I’d ever seen on anyone.
Sarah Dessen -- That Summer
Mrs. Sparsit’s tea was just set for her on a pert little table, with its tripod of legs in an attitude, which she insinuated after office-hours, into the company of the stern, leathern-topped, long board-table that bestrode the middle of the room.
Charles Dickens -- Hard Times
So I said, quite pert, I’d trust my head to the Red Indians sooner than I’d trust it to you, and he laughed; but I was in earnest.
Margaret Atwood -- Alias Grace
She spoke pertly.
Sinclair Lewis -- Babbitt
He has nothing in the world that I know of but a dozen or two of early masters and a more or less pert little daughter.
Henry James -- The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
The office of Governor of Texas, Confederate States of America, was declared to be officially vacant; and Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark, "an insignificant creature, contemptible, spry and pert," stepped up to take the oath.
John F. Kennedy -- Profiles in Courage
Guenever looked upon the six lioncels passant regardant —they were marching along with red tongues and claws, winking pertly over their backsides and waving their flame-tipped tails.
T. H. White -- The Once and Future King
But who could complain of this pert, pretty Paris when it revolved like a merry-go-round—the gold bridge-horses, the Greek Tuileries heroes and stone beauties, the overloaded Opera, the racy show windows and dapper colors, the maypole obelisk, the all-colors ice-cream, the gaudy package of the world.
Saul Bellow -- The Adventures of Augie March
Aristotle, in his Politics, doth them, I believe, more justice, when he says, "The modesty and fortitude of men differ from those virtues in women; for the fortitude which becomes a woman, would be cowardice in a man; and the modesty which becomes a man, would be pertness in a woman."