pearl-clutching, pearl clutching

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pearl-clutching, pearl clutching

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:27 am

<2018 “China ‘declared economic war on us years ago’ by forcing U.S. companies in China to surrender their intellectual property, dumping steel and aluminum at artificially low prices, and propping up state-owned firms. President Trump should do whatever it takes to bring the regime to heel. He should likewise ignore the ‘pearl clutching’ from Canada and the EU. America has indulged are so-called allies for too long.”—The Week, 29 June, page 5>
Never heard of it, but the image is clear (Some may consider this expression sexist).

pearl clutching, pearl-clutching adjective and noun: (idiomatic, derogatory) Scandalized or mortified about some event, situation, thing, etc., that was once salacious but should now be seen as commonplace; disapproving - a very shocked reaction, especially one in which you show more shock than you really feel in order to show that you think something is morally wrong: being ostentatiously shocked by something not all that shocking; morally conservative; easily offended, prim, stuffy, prudish. <Those pearl-clutching old prudes gave me dirty looks as I walked past in my cut-off jeans, but I don't give a hoot what they think about me.>, <I have to say that I am sick and tired of all the pearl-clutching going on amongst parents. Look, our kids are growing up in a different social environment than when we were in school, and it's high time we learned to deal with that!>

Etymology: From the image of a genteel woman clutching her pearl necklace in shock.

(The Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, Cambridge Dictionary)
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The following quotes are from archived sources:
<2008 “Exactly a decade ago Washington's social elites went into a pearl-clutching swoon over Bill Clinton lying to the nation - and, far less forgivably, to themselves - about the details of his sex life.”—Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Colorado), 25 June>

<2011 “The pearl-clutching piety of the response to Galliano's [[Dior fashion designer]] ugly outburst is a primer in tasteful hypocrisy.”—New Statesman (London), 7 March>

<2012 “It's not the pearl-clutching that the hippies' parents did in the 1960s.”—The Washington Post, 13 January>

<2014 “This is the 21st century. It's high time to stop with the pearl-clutching stupidity and focus on prosecuting the real criminals out there.”—Winnipeg Free Press (Manitoba, Canada), 6 November>

<2017 “A similar round of pearl-clutching erupted in Washington this week when Melania Trump's lawyers argued in a libel lawsuit that a British tabloid's sleazy accusations about her past had damaged her chances to capitalize on 'multimillion dollar business relationships' at a time when she was 'one of the most photographed women in the world. . . .'—The Washington Post (D.C.), 9 February>

<2018 “When she first found out that Sarah and I were together all those years ago there was a lot of pearl clutching but that's all over.”—Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), 16 May>
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Ken Greenwald – June 26, 2018
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Re: pearl-clutching, pearl clutching

Post by trolley » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:43 am

Good one, Ken. I've never heard it either but I like it. I like it a lot. "A pearl-clutching swoon". That's a great visual...I can see it now. There always seemed to be a lot of "pearl-clutching" going on in those old Marx Brothers movies.
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Re: pearl-clutching, pearl clutching

Post by BonnieL » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:59 am

I'm surprised you never heard the phrase. I like to say I was born clutching my pearls (I worried way too much what people might think), but fortunately, I've relaxed a whole lot as I've gotten older. :D
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Re: pearl-clutching, pearl clutching

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:15 am

I guess if you've already cast them before swine, you're left only with "hand-wringing".
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