One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Affecting benevolence or high moral principles.‘he adopted a Pecksniffian tone’
prim and proper, prim, proper, prudish, priggish, puritanical, moralistic, prissy, mimsy, niminy-piminy, shockable, victorian, old-maidish, schoolmistressy, schoolmarmish, governessyView synonyms
- ‘In general, however, this book is free of his usual penchant for Pecksniffian attacks on ‘liberals,’.’
- ‘The high light was Newton Dodge's repeated assertion, in his usual Pecksniffian manner, that his head had not grown any smaller, he had measured it!.’
Mid 19th century: from Mr Pecksniff, the name of a character in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit, + -ian.
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