U is For Unctuous

Unctuous – a person who is excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; having a greasy or soapy feel.

Despite the negative connotations of this word, I like saying it.

My favourite unctuous cartoon character is Snidely Whiplash, archenemy of Dudley Do Right, a spinoff of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.  Whiplash is the stereotypical villain in the style of stock characters found in silent movies and earlier stage melodrama, wearing black clothing, cape, and a top hat, and twirling his long handlebar moustache. In the cartoon’s opening segments, Snidely is seen tying Nell Fenwick to a railroad track.

“Nyah, ha-ha,” he’d cry, twirling his moustache.  “I love a woman with spirit.”


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4 thoughts on “U is For Unctuous

    1. Good point. I wonder how the two meanings became connected. Maybe because soapy is slippery. “Having the quality or characteristics of oil or ointment; slippery,” is another definition.

  1. Ah…the Unctuous character Eddie Haskell, from Leave It To Beaver, comes to mind!!! When I run into a real life Eddie Haskell I have the strongest urge to shower immediately! I had no idea that there was a word for this type of character!

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