C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Prudery is the bastard child of virtue.


Prudery is the hypocrisy of modesty.


Prudery is ignorance.


Over-niceness may be under-niceness.


Some women don buckler and spear to fight dragons which have no existence.

F. A. Durivage.

There are no greater prudes than those women who have some secret to hide.

George Sand.

Prudery is the innocence of the vicious—external sanctity, assumed as a cover for internal laxity.


Prudery is often immodestly modest; its habit is to multiply sentinels in proportion as the fortress is less threatened.

G. D. Prentice.

That prudery which survives youth and beauty resembles a scarecrow left in the fields after harvest.

J. Petit-Senn.

A jest that makes a virtuous woman only smile often frightens away a prude; but when real danger forces the former to flee, the latter advances.


  • Yon ancient prude, whose wither’d features show
  • She might be young some forty years ago,
  • Her elbows pinion’d close upon her hips,
  • Her head erect, her fan upon her lips,
  • Her eyebrows arch’d, her eyes both gone astray
  • To watch yon amorous couple in their play,
  • With bony and unkerchief’d neck defies
  • The rude inclemency of wintry skies,
  • And sails, with lappet-head and mincing airs,
  • Duly at chink of bell to morning prayers.
  • Cowper.