Definition of namby-pamby in English:

namby-pamby

adjective

derogatory
  • Lacking energy, strength, or courage; feeble or effeminate in behavior or expression.

    ‘these weren't namby-pamby fights, but brutal affairs where heads hit the sidewalk’
    • ‘The fact that those women are surrounded by a whole bunch of weak, namby-pamby men just makes it worse.’
    • ‘I'm bored of all-these namby-pamby bloggers and commentators avoiding the issue; I'm also bored of posting stupid posts about how to say ‘cleavage’ in Latvian.’
    • ‘I'd prefer a firm, ‘no, we are not going to be part of this’ to a namby-pamby policy of wait and see.’
    • ‘But I sense Ann would not have much sympathy for my namby-pamby indulgences.’
    • ‘None of this namby-pamby flopping about for our John; no, if a stout English player is going to cheat, he'll do it in manly fashion because ‘it's a man's game.’’
    • ‘Being the namby-pamby left-wingers they are, they never replied.’
    • ‘And that's not namby-pamby positive thinking; it's being intelligent.’
    • ‘This week we have began to roll out the policies that will take us back to that position and they are not namby-pamby policies.’
    • ‘It is waffly, namby-pamby sort of stuff that actually does not mean anything.’
    • ‘So I don't see it as namby-pamby leadership; I think it's pretty tough leadership.’
    • ‘I can't stand namby-pamby wimps; it's my working-class background.’
    • ‘It is high time we got rid of the namby-pamby attitude to such behaviour - just because he didn't get an ice cream on his ‘x’ birthday he feels deprived.’
    • ‘Really idle I mean, none of your namby-pamby idleness.’
    • ‘If the namby-pamby society of today was given a few slaps we wouldn't have the problems we have now with the youngsters and it would be a safer country.’
    • ‘It would at least spare us a repeat of their namby-pamby hostilities.’
    • ‘None of this namby-pamby nonsense about love, happiness or respect from our Dear Leader.’
    • ‘In fact he would probably think we were a bunch of namby-pamby liberals for feeding them at all.’
    • ‘She grinned at me and told me I was certainly better than any of the usual namby-pamby house guests.’
    • ‘That's my namby-pamby liberal theory and I'm sticking to it until another one comes along.’
    • ‘I can't just write namby-pamby lyrics, you know, just the run of the mill.’

noun

  • A feeble or effeminate person.

    • ‘Now, her 11 weeks in gaol have turned her into a soft, left-leaning (she was already was quite left leaning with some of her policies) namby-pamby.’
    • ‘Unless you're a complete namby-pamby, you'll be as good as somebody on that team.’
    • ‘I wonder what sort of a bunch of namby-pambies there are in this town.’
    • ‘So much so that, after his father's death, he read through his father's precious sketchbooks, decided they were a bit namby-pamby and burnt them.’
    • ‘I think as a prosecutor everyone thought I was a namby-pamby, and therefore much more defense-oriented and minded.’
    • ‘The first group (the namby-pambies) contrive to let their little darlings come out on top.’
    • ‘Stephen's allotted family role was that of namby-pamby.’
    • ‘It may sound brutal, but at the moment the country's crime-fighting seems to lean towards the namby-pamby.’
    • ‘I may not be popular, but well, the last man to hold this office was a cheerful tolerant namby-pamby who got himself eaten on school property.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: fanciful formation based on the given name of Ambrose Philips (died 1749), an English writer whose pastorals were ridiculed by the writers Henry Carey (1687?–1743) and Alexander Pope (1688–1744).

Pronunciation

namby-pamby

/ˌnambēˈpambē/