One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Bland soft or semi-liquid food such as that suitable for babies or invalids.‘a trayful of tasteless pap’
soft food, mush, semi-liquid food, baby food, slop, slush, swill, pulp, purée, mash, pasteView synonyms
- ‘Throughout the years a soft gruel-like substance called pap was fed to small babies. Pap was made of a number of things including ground cornmeal and water.’
- ‘Babies are breast-fed on demand, often for well over a year, although solid foods, usually rice pap, may be introduced at a young age.’
- ‘At the age of 5 months, a baby should be given pap, besides breast milk.’
- ‘Therefore to stuff the baby with paps and slops is to deprive it of the most strengthening food; for if its stomach be filled with pap, there cannot be any room for food.’
- 1.1 (in Africa and the Caribbean) porridge, usually made with maize meal.
- ‘Other items include a finger lunch of meat dishes, vegetables and salads or a braai menu of chicken peri-peri, rump steak, traditional wors served with pap, rolls, roasted potato and tomato gravy.’
- ‘The restaurants reach a market that does not demand the sophistication of established restaurants, offering customers favourite traditional dishes such as pap and chicken, meat or intestines, liver or tripe.’
- ‘Most of the restaurants serve French cuisine, and just as pap is our staple food here, so is bread over there, every meal comes with bread.’
- ‘Apart from tasting traditional Xhosa food - from kudu steaks to samp and beans and stywe pap - the Canadians will be licking their fingers as they tuck into specially made Springbok wors.’
- ‘Customers are given a choice between pap and rice served with chicken or beef stew.’
2Worthless or trivial reading matter or entertainment.‘limitless channels serving up an undemanding diet of pap’
trivia, pulp, pulp fiction, rubbish, trash, nonsense, frothView synonyms
- ‘But this is just so run-of-the-mill, the pap churned out by the ton in the early sixties.’
- ‘Anyone who's lived in the US and had to exist on the pap that passes for current affairs will share my fears for what the future holds for us.’
- ‘The only thing that it had to have was some kind of bite to it, not the pap that you hear in the charts.’
- ‘It's such a shame that teachers are getting sent out to teach very needy students and are getting such pap in their education programs.’
- ‘It's said that the mainstream media is increasingly dominated by corporate interests, political spin, and bread and circuses postmodern pap.’
- ‘Such ingenuity and self-confidence should be applauded at a time when Hollywood churns out bland twentysomething pap at vast cost.’
- ‘How odd to find suddenly that the British have all the style and authenticity, and the Americans, the Australians and the French have all the pap.’
- ‘Both numbers have a degree of sophistication that is not exactly very high, but much higher than the pap offered in other contemporary and even more modern musicals.’
- ‘It's an unfortunate trend that news magazines, like the underrated Bulletin, are perceived as being the men's domain, whilst the lightweight pap is for women.’
- ‘Not a day is free of the pap that infects British culture.’
- ‘They were undoubtedly harder to make and are often far more refreshing than the usual pap that gets projected our way.’
- ‘I would look forward to reading your editorial accompanied by a well-thought-out illustration - now all you give me is pap.’
- ‘I remember thinking the plot was sentimental, rubbishy pap.’
- ‘The sorry state of preaching is reflected in, and no doubt encouraged by, the pap that passes for devotional writing and ‘homiletical helps’ among today's Catholics.’
- ‘The argument goes that TV schedules are full of pap, with too much concentration on entertainment rather than the worthier fare of education.’
- ‘He's a boyband superstar that sings mindless pap, right?’
- ‘They continue to resist the corporate juggernauts that routinely flatten talent into the pap of pop.’
- ‘It's all bland, unoriginal pap that will only appeal to the nostalgia-seekers of the original BSB generation.’
- ‘Her conspicuous wealth, derived from the public demand for the pap she peddles, is further cause for resentment.’
- ‘There was a time when the pap served up in this annual competition, which gave us Abba and Bucks Fizz, was simply a funny joke.’
1(of food) lacking flavour and firmness.‘the apple is so pap I won't eat it’
- 1.1 (of a person) lacking physical or emotional strength; feeble.‘this flu makes people feel pap’
- ‘In one of her interviews in Egypt they bring up that "she's not a pap person like people think".’
- ‘He is clearly a an anonymous PAP person employed to trawl the blogs, attack the views and attitudes of the writers without offering any constructive criticism.’
- 1.2 (of an inflatable object) under-inflated; flat.‘my wheel was pap so I had to push the bike home’
- 1.1 (of a person) lacking physical or emotional strength; feeble.
Late Middle English: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch pappe, probably based on Latin pappare ‘eat’.
A woman's breast or nipple.
- ‘And how else did you think I came to you with my paps full of milk, when you were first a babe?’
- ‘A far better comparison would be between two groups of women - one of which had conventional paps, the other of which had monolayer paps.’
- ‘Most of the patients on their list are women who go to a gynecologist for paps and mammograms.’
- ‘Gripping their wife's puny paps, withered by suckling babes, they reached for those firm round breasts which had known ought but a man's hunger.’
Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin, from a base imitative of the sound of sucking.
- ‘But the paps, along with legal experts, say they are protected by their right to free speech under the US constitution.’
- ‘So how the hearts of the paps must have leapt as Madonna plus children and lover Jesus hoved into view off the coast of Italy this week.’
- ‘The truth is she looks out of a window, my friend, and there are paps coming over the fence.’
Take a photograph of (a celebrity) without permission.‘she can't go to the gym or pop to the shops without being papped’
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