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- (idiomatic, derogatory) A prim, prudish, or easily offended person.
- 2017 January 16, Emily Nussbaum, “How Jokes Won the 2016 Election”, in The New Yorker, retrieved 2021-08-24:
- It’s a dynamic that goes back to the rude, rule-breaking Groucho Marx—destroyer of élites!—and Margaret Dumont, pop culture’s primal pearl-clutcher.
- 2019 March 6, Kate Taylor, “How the Meaning of a String of Pearls Upstaged a Gun Control Debate”, in The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331:
- The intended message of the pearls wasn’t entirely clear, though one interpretation was that the lawmakers were trying to paint members of the group as “pearl clutchers” — suggesting that they were being overly sensitive.
- 2020 April 24, Romesh Ranganathan, “I'm finally watching Game of Thrones and it's made me a total pearl-clutcher”, in The Guardian:
- It’s my reaction to the violence, however, that I have found most surprising. I have gone from somebody who doesn’t mind any level of gore to a pearl-clutcher of the highest order.
- 2020 June 9, Keza MacDonald, “The Sims gets a climate-friendly makeover in Eco Lifestyle”, in The Guardian:
- Eco Lifestyle adds features that The Sims’ enormous Gen Z audience had long been asking for, such as septum piercings and boho fashions that would look great down the allotment – and loads that surely nobody was asking for, including candle-making and the attractive prospect of having sex in dumpsters, thus fulfilling every older pearl-clutcher’s worst imaginings about the filthy eco-conscious young.