Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4536
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:51 pm

• prig •

Pronunciation: prig • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A self-righteous puritanical prude, someone excessively concerned with decorum. 2. A conceited snob or, as George Eliot puts it in Middlemarch, ". . .a fellow who is always making you a present of his opinions."

Notes: As a sign of our sympathy for everyone struggling with English spelling, we always add a note of amazement when we find a word like this one, spelled the way it is pronounced. This word comes with a hint of facetiousness that encourages playful derivations. The adjective is simply priggish, but there is a healthy clan of nouns, including prigdom, the domain of all prigs taken together (if you can); prighood, that quality that makes a prig a prig; priggery, the behavior of a prig, and priggism, a more sedate term for the last meaning.

In Play: A priggish woman is usually one who dresses very conservatively, even in an old-fashioned manner: "Lyda Cain is such a sultry prig I'm not sure if she wears high collars because of her priggishness or to hide some embarrassing tattoo on her neck." Conceited snobs, on the other hand, are apt to dress very smartly: "That prig, Morty Skusting, must think he is the king of the universe, telling the rest of us how we should live our lives!"

Word History: No one knows the origin of this word, just that it has been around a long time. It first appeared meaning "a tinker" in 1567, but by 1610 it meant "a thief". In 1676 it was being used to refer to a fop or dandy and by 1693 it was being used in British slang to refer to a Puritan, but in the sense of a religious nonconformist or iconoclast. When the Puritans came to the US, the word came with them and, as the Puritans became known for their prudishness, that meaning slipped over onto today's Good Word.
• The Good Dr. Goodword

Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3192
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 pm

I hear and read the word occasionally, but I have the impression it's more British or Bostonian or something rather than the rest of the country.

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2049
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:27 am

Ain't no prigs in Texas, we are just naturally wonderful here.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3959
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:21 am

Philip Hudson wrote:Ain't no prigs in Texas, we are just naturally wonderful here.

You know, I've heard that, even from Texans!
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests