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[pris-ee] /ˈprɪs i/
adjective, prissier, prissiest.
excessively proper; affectedly correct; prim.
Origin of prissy
1890-95, Americanism; blend of prim1 and sissy
Related forms
prissily, adverb
prissiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for prissiness


adjective -sier, -siest
fussy and prim, esp in a prudish way
Derived Forms
prissily, adverb
prissiness, noun
Word Origin
C20: probably from prim + sissy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prissiness



1895, probably Southern U.S. dialect, first attested in Joel Chandler Harris, perhaps an alteration of precise (q.v.), or a merger of prim and sissy [OED]. Related: Prissily; prissiness.

["]Then Mrs Blue Hen rumpled up her feathers and got mad with herself, and went to setting. I reckon that's what you call it. I've heard some call it 'setting' and others 'sitting.' Once, when I was courting, I spoke of a sitting hen, but the young lady said I was too prissy for anything."
"What is prissy?" asked Sweetest Susan.
Mr. Rabbit shut his eyes and scratched his ear. Then he shook his head slowly.
"It's nothing but a girl's word," remarked Mrs. Meadows by way of explanation. "It means that somebody's trying hard to show off."
"I reckon that's so," said Mr. Rabbit, opening his eyes. He appeared to be much relieved.
[Joel Chandler Harris, "Mr. Rabbit at Home"]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for prissiness



Overfastidious; primly censorious: He hasa prissy distaste for heavy shoes (1895+)


: these dogooding prissies

[origin uncertain; perhaps a blend of prim or precise with sissy]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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