In honor of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dicken's birth, OED Online Word of the Day
has been featuring words derived from characters in Dickens' novels, e.g. Pecksniff
, defined as:
An unctuous hypocrite, a person who affects benevolence or pretends to have high moral principles; (also) a person who interferes officiously in the business of others.
The characteristic behaviour or attitudes of Dickens's Mr Podsnap; insular complacency and blinkered self-satisfaction.
In addition to his literary gifts, Dickens was an acute psychologist, with a sharp eye for universal human types. How many Pecksniffs and Podsnaps do we still see strutting about every day!