One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Affectedly prim or refined.‘she had a niminy-piminy ladylike air’
weak, weak-willed, weak-kneed, feeble, spiritless, soft, ineffectual, inadequate, irresolute, indecisiveView synonyms
- ‘No longer is Art Theft a refined craft of niminy-piminy alarm evasion, but more and more a matter of going in with all the guns blazing.’
- ‘Stevens’ cocktail is a little different, but he's similarly niminy-piminy.’
- ‘Who can ever forget Jo in Little Women, who was really Louisa, the girl who, when reproved for whistling by Amy, the art-loving sister, says: ‘I hate affected, niminy-piminy chits!’’
- ‘And so it has gone on, leaving tea to be the preserve of a niminy-piminy minority of the American upper-crust, who don't appear to know how to make it properly either.’
- ‘And must the disinherited knight, whose blood has been warmed in the company of the tender and beautiful Rebecca, sit down contented for life by the side of such a frigid piece of propriety as that icy, faultless, prim, niminy-piminy Rowena?’
Late 18th century: fanciful coinage; compare with namby-pamby.
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