A woman of affected modesty, reserve, or coyness; one who is overscrupulous or sensitive; one who affects extraordinary prudence in conduct and speech. Less modest than the speech of prudes. (swift)
Origin: F, prudish, originally, discreet, modest; shortened from OF. Prudefeme, preudefeme, a discreet or excellent woman; OF. Preu, prou, excellent, brave – de of – fete woman. See Prow, Prowess.