prim and proper (literally). Prim and proper translates easily into bourgeois, upper middle-class, excessively formal, conservative,and, by and large, stuffy. French society hangs on to a large number of formalities that make the appearance of individuals (in terms of the language they use,the clothes they wear, the company they keep, the attitudes they affect)incredibly important. The proverb "l'habit fait le moine" (you judge the monk by his clothes, i.e.the book by its cover), although it can also be used in the negative (l'habit ne fait pas le moine)has some truth for most people. Female politicians, in particular, are expected to look very BCBG if they want to be successful...otherwise, they might be considered akin to fishmongers, using vulgar language like the first female prime minister, Edith Cresson, who was judged more by her appearance than by anything else...negatively, of course. Even though she was, on the whole, very BCBG, and only mimicked popular forms of speech.
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Used to describe something very chic Acronym for "Bon chic, bon genre". Originally used to describe high fashion, or the ultimate in good taste. Now often used disparagingly to describe pretentious "yuppies