(taken from http://www.m-w.com)
sanctimonious • \sank-tuh-MOE-nee-us\ • adjective
: hypocritically pious or devout
My sanctimonious aunt always warns us about the evils of drinking and gambling, but according to my mother, she did those things herself when she was young.
There's nothing sacred about "sanctimonious"—at least not any more. But in the early 1600s, the English adjective was still sometimes used to describe someone truly holy or pious (a sense that recalls the meaning of the word's Latin parent, "sanctimonia"). Shakespeare used both the "holy" and "holier-than-thou" senses in his work, referring in The Tempest to the "sanctimonious" (that is, "holy") ceremonies of marriage, and in Measure for Measure to describe "the sanctimonious pirate that went to sea with the Ten Commandments but scraped one out of the table." (Apparently, the pirate found the restriction on stealing a bit too inconvenient.)
And because it was equally interesting; here's today's outtake for "words for the wise" aka the history of words - la!!
Topic: Words of electricity
Today we mark the 275th birth anniversary of James Clerk Maxwell, the Scottish physicist whose work can quite properly be said to have electrified science. Maxwell is credited with demonstrating that light itself is an electromagnetic wave; he also came up with the concept of electromagnetic radiation, and, most famously, he described one of the four known basic forces of the universe: electromagnetic force.
A few decades after his death, Maxwell’s surname was given to an electromagnetic unit of magnetic flux. One maxwell is equivalent to ten to negative eighth power of a weber (another term for a unit of flux, this one honoring German physicist Wilhelm Weber).
But before modern scientists were playing on the electric circuit, the words electric and electricity were making the rounds. Where did those 17th century coinages originate? From the idea that rubbing amber produces an electrostatic phenomena. The New Latin electricus, in fact, meant "produced from amber by friction." The Latin noun from which electricus was derived, namely electrum, meant "amber," as did electrum’s source in Greek, electron. Electron, in turn, was related to the Greek elektor meaning "beaming sun" and to the Sanskrit ulka meaning "fiery phenomenon in the sky; meteor."