making high pretensions to benevolence and virtue while really mean, selfish, and hypocritical ...1844
from the name of a character, Seth Pecksniff, in Charles Dickens' novel "Martin Chuzzlewit", 1844; he is presented as an unctuous hypocrite, habitually prating of benevolence, etc.
FIRST DOCUMENTED USE
1844 - see EXAMPLE below
"...with so many things calculated to awaken the liveliest recollections of his former occupation in the Pecksniffian school of design."
From: The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal,
Scientific and Railway Gazette
Epistle to Charles Dickens
Volume VII, 1844
• A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles,
James Murray, 1887-1933
• A Standard Dictionary of the English Language, Isaac K. Funk, 1908
• Passing English of the Victorian Era, James Redding Ware, 1909