Awesome word: “Smarmy”
The first time I ever heard this word used was in an analogy. Without getting into the irrelevancies of why the person was discussing the particular subject, I merely include it, here:
….Ever flush an unusually smarmy turd, only to have it pop back up again after the flush was over…?
I have since heard it used as an adjective for various things, but never specifically pertaining to a manner of speech, which Princeton Wordnet sets forth as the appropriate meaning–
# S: (adj) buttery, fulsome, oily, oleaginous, smarmy, soapy, unctuous (unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech) “buttery praise”; “gave him a fulsome introduction”; “an oily sycophantic press agent”; “oleaginous hypocrisy”; “smarmy self-importance”; “the unctuous Uriah Heep”; “soapy compliments.”
I find this definition limiting for a word with an obscure etymology, and which is a relative newcomer to the English Language (as the following article discusses) and which has the words “oily,” “unctuous,” and “oleaginous” as synonyms.
Personally, I can’t think of a better definition than the one offered by The Word Detective website:
Smarmy: Slathered with creepiness.