prudery (n.)

"quality or character of being prudish, extreme propriety in behavior," 1709, from prude + -ery and in part from French pruderie (Molière).

Le propre de la pruderie, c'est de mettre d'autant plus de factionnaires que la forteresse est moins menacée.[Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables," 1862]
Mrs. Prim: Prudery! What! do they invent new words as well as new fashions? Ah! poor fantastic age, I pity thee. [Susanna Centlivre, "A Bold Stroke For a Wife," 1791]

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

updated on January 01, 2021