Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M
sallymn
1word1day

Sunday Word: Priggish

priggish [prig-gish ]
adjective:
1 Self-righteously moralistic and superior; demonstrating an exaggerated conformity or propriety, especially in an irritatingly arrogant or smug manner.

Examples:

"Any little assistance," he continued with the same queer, priggish accent, "that may obviate the necessity of my communicating with the family." (G K Chesteron, The Wisdom Of Father Brown )

What can you do but laugh at the fact that Lewis could persevere with such a priggish demeanour when now it seems he was cooking the chemicals just as keenly as poor old Johnson, a man socially backward and easily led - and treated with the same notoriety as a war criminal in the days and weeks after the Seoul 100 metres final? (Keith Duggan, Carl Lewis' feet of clay leave a squalid trail, The Irish Times, 2003)

Those poor stupid fanatics have ben sold on the idea that what they want is the ability to give themselves a little priggish congratulations over having done the right thing. They’d rather be right than happy (John Barnes, A Million Open Doors)

Origin:

From prig, 'precisian in speech or manners,' 1753, originally in reference to theological scruples (1704), of unknown origin; earlier appearances of the same word meaning 'dandy, fop' (1670s), 'thief' (c. 1600; in form prigger recorded from 1560s) could be related, as could thieves' cant prig 'a tinker' (1560s). (Online Etymology Dictionary)


Tags: adjective, english, p
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