Word of the Day

Monday, June 06, 2011


\pek-SNIF-ee-uhn\ , adjective;
Hypocritically and smugly affecting benevolence or high moral principles.
With such departing words, did this strong minded female paralyze the Pecksniffian energies; and so she swept out of the room, and out of the house, attended her daughters, who, as with one accord, elevated their three noses in the air, and joined in a contemptuous titter.
-- Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Volume 1
The men who do things in the world, the men worthy of admiration and imitation, are men constitutionally incapable of any such pecksniffian stupidity.
-- H. L. Mencken, Damn! A Book of Calumny
Pecksniffian is named after Seth Pecksniff, a character in "Martin Chuzzlewit, a novel" (1843), by Charles Dickens.
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