Pinker is not a self-appointed enforcer of arbitrary rules, and he has little patience for purists, prigs, and pedants.
"Half the best scholars in our class are prigs," said Edgar discontentedly.
"But we're all prigs," Gilbert said once in reply to some one who sneered at Roger.
In Chicago, you will hear that Boston is composed of nothing but prigs and précieuses ridicules.
Were we to attempt to do so it would make us prigs and prudes.
Not only had he no education, but he was rather proud of the fact, affecting to despise bookish people as prigs and "high-brows."
Come along, Spooney,' and the pair of prigs retire superciliously.
At the Universities, Punch was evidently concerned by the multiplication of prigs.
John, again like all other prigs, was patient with those not so gifted as himself.
The prigs who potter about the great plains are pygmies dancing round a sleeping giant.
"precisian in speech or manners," 1753, originally in reference to theological scruples (1704), of unknown origin; earlier appearances of the same word meaning "dandy, fop" (1670s), "thief" (c.1600; in form prigger recorded from 1560s) could be related, as could thieves' cant prig "a tinker" (1560s).
A p[rig] is wise beyond his years in all the things that do not matter. A p. cracks nuts with a steam hammer: that is, calls in the first principles of morality to decide whether he may, or must, do something of as little importance as drinking a glass of beer. On the whole, one may, perhaps, say that all his different characteristics come from the combination, in varying proportions, of three things--the desire to do his duty, the belief that he knows better than other people, & blindness to the difference in value between different things. ["anonymous essay," quoted in Fowler, 1926]Related: Priggery.