Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Word of the Day

Prig: noun
A person who demonstrates an exaggerated conformity or propriety, especially in an irritatingly arrogant or smug manner.

Use: I have flung myself in front of your great, socking Bentley so that I can seek medical advice on behalf of my patient because her relations are out to kill her. I dearly hope this doesn't make me sound like a prig.

Americans would say goody-two-shoes. Potty mouths could say tight-[REDACTED]. In Mormon-speak we might call that up-right square a Molly. Any way you slice it, it isn't a compliment.

Which, I admit, presents a problem for those who want to do the right thing. I like how Anne Shirley puts it:

Anne Shirley: Fred is... extremely good. (read: a prig)
Marilla Cuthbert: That is exactly what he should be! Would you want
to marry a wicked man?
Anne Shirley: Well, I wouldn't marry anyone who was really wicked,
but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't.
Marilla Cuthbert: You'll have better sense some day, I hope.
Isn't that just like our RDDs? Someone who could be wicked and wouldn't...


  1. Nice post, lovely AOGG quote. Question. Why Two Shoes? Would she be less priggish with only one? Or three?

  2. I wonder if there is some obscure old meaning that we don't know about shoes, or if it's like when I'm mad at my 7 year old and try to keep my temper in check by calling him Mr. Stripey Pants.....or Mr. Spongebob Shirt.....or Mr. Blondilocks....as in "Mr. Blondilocks, pick your Legos picked up off the floor now, because I have one imbedded in the bottom of my bare foot!"

  3. Betty Barbara here--
    Straight from that marvelous font of all trivia: Wikipedia-----

    "The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes is a little children's story by an anonymous author, published in London in 1765. The story popularized the phrase "goody two-shoes", often used to describe an excessively or annoyingly virtuous person. In more recent years, the phrase has developed a more negative connotation, implying that the virtuousness of a "goody two-shoes" is insincere.
    Goody Two-Shoes is a variation of the Cinderella story. The fable tells of Goody Two-Shoes, the nickname of a poor orphan girl named Margery Meanwell, who goes through life with only one shoe. When she is given a complete pair by a rich gentleman, she is so happy that she tells everyone that she has "two shoes". Later, Margery becomes a teacher and marries a rich widower. This earning of wealth serves as proof that her virtuousness has been rewarded, a popular theme in children's literature of the era.

    Of an earlier era, the word Goody was a contraction of Goodwife. Often used by Puritans in place of Mistress(or, as we would us now, Mrs.)

    Betty Barbara, history major in college, at your service.

  4. I think, Betty Barbara, that you should have a hat or a badge for that or, at the very least, a large belt buckle. ;0)

  5. You know what song I love, Goody Two Shoes- Adam Ant

  6. Thanks for the education, Betty Barbara. However, I want to be Mr. Stripey Pants like ALHC's 7 year old ...
    Betty Miranda

  7. [Psst -- this is a note just to the Founding Bettys. I am staying overnight in Southern Florida en route back home to my beloved Betty Ross. I was at the Romance Writers of America national conference in Orlando, which is why my brain is fried and I'm trying to get caught up on THREE months of Uncrushable Jersey Dress posts. The perfect comfort read...

    Anyway, I wanted to tell you whispers that Betty Miranda is THE nicest person. I met her ever so briefly at the Literacy Signing and she leapt up to hug me. And she's British! (Not so huggy, as a rule.) If you are ever in the neighborhood of an RWA literacy event, she will hug you too.]