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
- ‘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.’
- ‘At the age of 5 months, a baby should be given pap, besides breast milk.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 (in Africa and the Caribbean) porridge, usually made with maize meal.
- ‘Customers are given a choice between pap and rice served with chicken or beef stew.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
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
- ‘The argument goes that TV schedules are full of pap, with too much concentration on entertainment rather than the worthier fare of education.’
- ‘I would look forward to reading your editorial accompanied by a well-thought-out illustration - now all you give me is pap.’
- ‘Her conspicuous wealth, derived from the public demand for the pap she peddles, is further cause for resentment.’
- ‘They continue to resist the corporate juggernauts that routinely flatten talent into the pap of pop.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The only thing that it had to have was some kind of bite to it, not the pap that you hear in the charts.’
- ‘Not a day is free of the pap that infects British culture.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Such ingenuity and self-confidence should be applauded at a time when Hollywood churns out bland twentysomething pap at vast cost.’
- ‘It's said that the mainstream media is increasingly dominated by corporate interests, political spin, and bread and circuses postmodern pap.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They were undoubtedly harder to make and are often far more refreshing than the usual pap that gets projected our way.’
- ‘But this is just so run-of-the-mill, the pap churned out by the ton in the early sixties.’
- ‘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 all bland, unoriginal pap that will only appeal to the nostalgia-seekers of the original BSB generation.’
- ‘I remember thinking the plot was sentimental, rubbishy pap.’
- ‘He's a boyband superstar that sings mindless pap, right?’
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’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In one of her interviews in Egypt they bring up that "she's not a pap person like people think".’
- 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’.
- ‘But the paps, along with legal experts, say they are protected by their right to free speech under the US constitution.’
- ‘The truth is she looks out of a window, my friend, and there are paps coming over the fence.’
- ‘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.’
A woman's breast or nipple.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘And how else did you think I came to you with my paps full of milk, when you were first a babe?’
Take a photograph of (a celebrity) without permission.‘she can't go to the gym or pop to the shops without being papped’
Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin, from a base imitative of the sound of sucking.
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