namby-pamby


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nam·by-pam·by

 (năm′bē-păm′bē)
adj.
1. Weak, sentimental, or unrealistic: "life as it was really lived, you know, not as described in namby-pamby self-help books" (Megan Hustad).
2. Lacking vigor or decisiveness; weak or spineless: accused by conservatives of being a namby-pamby liberal.
n. pl. nam·by-pam·bies
One that is weak, sentimental, or indecisive.

[After Namby-Pamby, , a satire on the poetry of Ambrose Philips (1674-1749) by Henry Carey (1687?-1743).]
Word History: Today, the 18th-century poet Ambrose Philips is more well-known for sharp satirical attacks leveled against him by his contemporaries Henry Carey and Alexander Pope than for any lines of poetry that he ever wrote himself. In lampooning some overly precious verse on the subject of children that Philips had composed, Carey called Philips by the nickname Namby Pamby: "So the Nurses get by Heart Namby Pamby's Little Rhimes." The first part of Namby Pamby came from Amby, or Ambrose. Pamby was made to rhyme with Namby by using the initial of Philips's surname. Pope then used the name in the 1729 edition of his satirical epic The Dunciad. After being popularized by Pope, namby-pamby went on to be used generally for people or things that are sentimental or weak.

namby-pamby

(ˌnæmbɪˈpæmbɪ)
adj
1. sentimental or prim in a weak insipid way: namby-pamby manners.
2. clinging, feeble, or spineless: a namby-pamby child.
n, pl -bies
a person who is namby-pamby
[C18: a nickname of Ambrose Phillips (died 1749), whose pastoral verse was ridiculed for being insipid]

nam•by-pam•by

(ˈnæm biˈpæm bi)

adj., n., pl. -bies. adj.
1. lacking decisiveness; irresolute: namby-pamby opinions.
2. weakly sentimental; insipid: namby-pamby poetry.
n.
3. a namby-pamby person or thing.
[1726; rhyming compound based on the first syllable of Ambrose Philips; first used as a nickname for Philips in the title of a poem by Henry Carey (1687?–1743) ridiculing his verse]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.namby-pamby - an insipid weakling who is foolishly sentimental
doormat, weakling, wuss - a person who is physically weak and ineffectual
Adj.1.namby-pamby - weak in willpower, courage or vitality
weak - wanting in physical strength; "a weak pillar"

namby-pamby

adjective feeble, weak, wet, sentimental, mincing, ineffectual, prim, weedy (informal), colourless, effeminate, anaemic, insipid, simpering, spineless, effete, prissy (informal), wishy-washy (informal), vapid, mawkish, wussy (slang), wimpish or wimpy (informal) I despise his wimpy, namby-pamby attitude.

namby-pamby

adjective
Lacking the qualities requisite for spiritedness and originality:
Informal: wishy-washy.
Translations

namby-pamby

[ˈnæmbɪˈpæmbɪ]
A. ADJsoso, ñoño
B. Npersona f sosa, ñoño/a m/f

namby-pamby

(esp Brit inf)
nMutterkind nt; (= boy also)Muttersöhnchen nt
adj personverweichlicht, verzärtelt (inf); (= indecisive)unentschlossen

namby-pamby

[ˌnæmbɪˈpæmbɪ] adj & n (fam) → rammollito/a
References in classic literature ?
The Land of Oz is ruled by a namby-pamby girl who is disgustingly kind and good," he continued.
And they were not namby-pamby oaths, or mere expressions of indecency.
The Misses Dobbin kept Miss Osborne acquainted with the state of Amelia's affairs; how she was living with her father and mother; how poor they were; how they wondered what men, and such men as their brother and dear Captain Osborne, could find in such an insignificant little chit; how she was still, as heretofore, a namby-pamby milk-and-water affected creature--but how the boy was really the noblest little boy ever seen--for the hearts of all women warm towards young children, and the sourest spinster is kind to them.
IT seems that even politicians are not allowed to describe illegal immigrants as a 'swarm' (David Cameron) or a 'marauding mob' (Phillip Hammond) without the hairy-fairy, namby-pamby, liberal do-gooders objecting to these statements.
I think they come back again later but 50s they all seem to be namby-pamby, they don't seem interesting enough.
We didn't bother with namby-pamby ideas like political correctness, but some officers were quite partial to large helpings of casual racism, sexism and homophobia.
And there are no namby-pamby bite-sized canapes on his menu, even his starters are huge - the crispy potato skins loaded with cheese and bacon are so big they might not fit into your hand.
If the UK finds him, he'll be taken back and, after a costly and drawn-out trial, sentenced to life in a comfortable prison from where he will be allowed to launch endless appeals and, no doubt (given the UK's namby-pamby judicial system), even qualify for parole after a few years.
Jo Namby-Pamby Tsonga and Wimbledon's other delicate petals, take note.
RUGBY fans in the Boot Room are always carping on about namby-pamby footballers writhing around the floor in agony when they're not injured But BK Hacken's Mohammed Ali Khan has proved an exception to the rule after playing on with a broken leg.
Round-up the 8 Out Of 10 Cats team captains and send them to the good old US of A to prove they are not namby-pamby, lilly-livered guys, but tough, macho blokes.
Those drug laws would also clean up the streets, but we live in a namby-pamby country now and the Singapore laws would never happen here.