Copyright 1999. Esther Katz. All rights reserved.
Probably Mrs. Grundy, a fictional character first referred to in Thomas Morton's 1798 play, Speed the Plough as the arbiter of proper social behavior. Another character in the play voices her excessive concern with proper social etiquette by repeatedly asking, "What will Mrs. Grundy say?" Over time Mrs. Grundy came to personify prudishness, strict propriety and the tyranny of social convention.