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Related to prudishness: prudery, prude


Marked by or exhibiting the characteristics of a prude; priggish.

prud′ish·ly adv.
prud′ish·ness n.



bluenose An ultraconservative in matters of morality; a puritan, prude, or Prig.

That this picture may aggravate blue nose censors is not beyond the bounds of possibility. (Variety, April 3, 1929)

As early as 1809 Washington Irving used the adjective form blue-nosed. The form in the above citation and the noun bluenose appeared later. The color blue has long been associated with conservatism and strictness, though for what reason is not clear. In the mid-19th century, conservative students at Yale and Dartmouth were called blues.

I wouldn’t carry a novel into chapel to read,… because some of the blues might see you. (Yale Literary Magazine, 1850)

The usage may derive from Connecticut’s “blue laws”—stringent restrictions on moral conduct with harsh penalties for their infraction—which obtained in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were presumably so called because originally printed on blue paper.

Goody Two Shoes A goody-goody, a nice nelly; an appellation for a person of self-righteous, sentimental, or affected goodness; also Miss Goody Two Shoes. The original Little Goody Two Shoes was the principal character in a British nursery rhyme thought to have been written by Oliver Goldsmith and published by Newbery in 1765. According to the story, Little Goody Two Shoes owned only one shoe and was so delighted at receiving a second that she went around showing both to everyone, exclaiming “Two shoes!” Although it is not clear why the nursery rhyme character Little Goody Two Shoes came to symbolize self-righteous, excessive, and affected goodness, the term appeared in the writing of the 19th-century author Anthony Trollope in just such a context:

Pray don’t go on in that Goody Two-shoes sort of way.

Mrs. Grundy The personification of conventional opinion in issues of established social propriety; a prudish, straight-laced person who becomes outraged at the slightest breach of decorum or etiquette. In Thomas Morton’s Speed the Plough (1798), Mrs. Grundy was the unseen character whose opinions in matters of social propriety were of constant concern to her neighbors:

If shame should come to the poor child—I say Jummas, what would Mrs. Grundy say then.

The expression is still used figuratively as the embodiment of public opinion.

And many are afraid of God—and more of Mrs. Grundy. (Frederick Locker, London Lyrics, 1857)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prudishness - excessive or affected modesty
modesty, modestness - freedom from vanity or conceit


[ˈpruːdɪʃnɪs] n (= prudery) → pudibonderie f


n (= prudish behaviour)Prüderie f; (= prudish nature)prüde Art; (of clothes)Sittsamkeit f


[ˈpruːdɪʃnɪs] npuritanesimo
References in classic literature ?
And on the strength of peccadillos, reprehensible in an author, but excusable in a son, the Anglo-Saxon race is accused of prudishness, humbug, pretentiousness, deceit, cunning, and bad cooking.
The work was of the same character as that which he had just been engaged on, but with the greater directness which surgery has than medicine; and a larger proportion of the patients suffered from those two diseases which a supine public allows, in its prudishness, to be spread broadcast.
It was not prudishness, for she now spoke of "the Wilcox ideal" with laughter, and even with a growing brutality.
At another time he might have been shocked, for he had depths of prudishness within him.
inspired, when you manage to throw off your masculine cowardice and prudishness you are not to be equalled by us.
It's not out of prudishness or discomfort with sex, but precisely because I place such a high value on it that I want to wait.
In many images, either due to the incompetence or prudishness of the artist, these breasts are not accurately depicted, leading viewers to mistake them for loaves of bread or bells, making Agatha the patron saint, not just of those with breast ailments, but also of bell-makers and bakers.
government from the Founding to the present time and, when free trade was defended, the modesty and prudishness of its defenders.
At first I thought this had to do with modesty and even prudishness as in movies when the camera politely drifts to clothes scattered on the floor the morning after, on the curtains, or a glimpse of outdoor scenery through the window.