pillar-biter

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English[edit]

Detail of the 1559 painting Netherlandish Proverbs, depicting a man so intensely pretending to be pious that he embraces a church pillar

Etymology[edit]

An old Dutch expression, used since at least the 16th century. No longer in common use.[1]

Noun[edit]

pillar-biter (plural pillar-biters)

  1. A hypocrite, especially a religious hypocrite

References[edit]