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prudery

[proo-duh-ree]
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noun, plural prud·er·ies for 2.
  1. excessive propriety or modesty in speech, conduct, etc.
  2. pruderies, prudish actions, phrases, or words.

Origin of prudery

From the French word pruderie, dating back to 1700–10. See prude, -ery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for prudery

n.

1709, from prude + -ery and in part from French pruderie.

The peculiarity of prudery is to multiply sentinels, in proportion as the fortress is less threatened. [Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables"]

Some 20c. writers in English used extended form prudibundery, in many cases likely for contemptuous emphasis, from French prudibonderie "prudery."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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