saucy

saucy
saucy, pert, arch are comparable when they mean flippant and bold rather than serious and respectful in one's manner or attitude.
Saucy is rarely strongly derogatory though it implies some degree of lack of proper respect
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a saucy pupil

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a saucy retort

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Usually it also implies piquancy and levity with a hint of smartness or of amusing effrontery
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a little saucy rosebud minx can strike death-damp into the breast of doughty king— Browning

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Sometimes it is applied also to birds and small animals on similar grounds
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some saucy puppies on their hind legs— Ruskin

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the mistle thrush is very bold and saucy, and has been known to fly in the face of persons who have disturbed the sitting bird— Burroughs

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Pert implies a saucy freedom that may suggest presumption or affectation rather than insolence
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a pert jackanapes, full of college petulance and self-conceit— Smollett

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a little upstart, vulgar being . . . with all her airs of pert pretension— Austen

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In some contexts the word carries additional implications (as of cleverness or sprightliness) found in its other senses
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a little, upright, pert, tart, tripping wight— Burns

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Arch usually implies roguish or coquettish audacity or mischievous mockery sometimes carried to the point that it seems forced or awkward
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"simpering expressions and arch posturing— Osbert Lancaster

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Elizabeth . . . turned to him with an arch smile, and said—"You mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me?"— Austen

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Analogous words: flippant, frivolous, volatile, light-minded (see corresponding nouns at LIGHTNESS): intrusive, obtrusive, meddlesome, *impertinent: brash, impudent (see SHAMELESS): piquant, snappy (see PUNGENT)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Saucy — Sau cy, a. [Compar. {Saucier}; superl. {Sauciest}.] [From {Sauce}.] 1. Showing impertinent boldness or pertness; transgressing the rules of decorum; treating superiors with contempt; impudent; insolent; as, a saucy fellow. [1913 Webster] Am I not …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • saucy — [sô′sē] adj. saucier, sauciest [ SAUC(E) + Y2] 1. rude; impudent 2. pert; sprightly [a saucy smile] 3. stylish or smart [her saucy new hat] SYN. IMPERTINENT …   English World dictionary

  • saucy — index brazen, impertinent (insolent), insolent, obtrusive, offensive (offending), presumptuous …   Law dictionary

  • Saucy — Nom porté dans le Doubs et en Lorraine (54, 55). C est un toponyme avec le sens de bois de saules . Variantes : Saulcy (88), Sausy (57, 08) …   Noms de famille

  • saucy — (adj.) c.1500, resembling sauce, later impertinent, cheeky (1520s), from SAUCE (Cf. sauce) (q.v.). The connecting notion is the figurative sense of piquancy in words or actions. Cf. sauce malapert impertinence (1520s), and slang phrase to have… …   Etymology dictionary

  • saucy — [adj] disrespectful arch, audacious, bold, brash, brazen, cheeky*, combative, contumelious, flip*, flippant, forward, fresh, impertinent, impudent, insolent, intrusive, meddlesome, nervy, obtrusive, pert, presumptuous, rude, sassy, smart, smart… …   New thesaurus

  • saucy — ► ADJECTIVE (saucier, sauciest) informal 1) chiefly Brit. sexually suggestive in a light hearted way. 2) chiefly N. Amer. bold, lively, and spirited. DERIVATIVES saucily adverb sauciness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • saucy — UK [ˈsɔːsɪ] / US [ˈsɔsɪ] adjective Word forms saucy : adjective saucy comparative saucier superlative sauciest 1) saucy pictures, jokes etc refer to sex in a way that is funny a saucy postcard 2) old fashioned someone who is saucy shows little… …   English dictionary

  • saucy — sauc|y [ sɔsi ] adjective 1. ) saucy pictures, jokes, etc. refer to sex in a way that is funny: a saucy postcard 2. ) OLD FASHIONED someone who is saucy shows little respect for people in authority: Don t you get saucy with me! ╾ sauc|i|ly adverb …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • saucy — saucily, adv. sauciness, n. /saw see/, adj., saucier, sauciest. 1. impertinent; insolent: a saucy remark; a saucy child. 2. pert; boldly smart: a saucy little hat for Easter. [1500 10; SAUCE + Y1] Syn. 1. rude, impudent, fresh, brazen …   Universalium

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