"prissy," 1842 (?)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Jul 20 16:40:18 UTC 2008

> After a passage of=A0 only=A0several years it occurs to me that this is a m=
> isprint or erroneous transcription=A0of _pursy_, "corpulent" (thought to be=
>  a *good* thing by our forebears).
> =A0
> Less likely:=A0metathesis of the same.
I think "prissy" might could be an abbreviation of "pristine", a
possibility suggested by George Thompson earlier. "Fresh and pristine"
seems a likely turn of phrase.

I cannot find an example of such a "prissy", however.

The usual "Prissy" at the time apparently was a female name (=
Priscilla, I suppose).

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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