One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who is excessively concerned with maintaining an appearance of propriety or respectability; a prudish or fastidious person.
Prudish, fastidious; overly concerned with respectability.
1920s; earliest use found in The Boston Globe. From nice + Nellie, Nelly, pet-form of the female forenames Eleanor and Helen.
Nice Nelly/ˌnʌɪs ˈnɛli/
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