One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Bland soft or semiliquid food such as that suitable for babies or invalids.‘trying to eat 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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 Reading matter or entertainment that is worthless or lacking in substance.‘limitless channels serving up an undemanding diet of pap’
trivia, pulp, pulp fiction, rubbish, trash, nonsense, frothView synonyms
- ‘I would look forward to reading your editorial accompanied by a well-thought-out illustration - now all you give me is pap.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Her conspicuous wealth, derived from the public demand for the pap she peddles, is further cause for resentment.’
- ‘The only thing that it had to have was some kind of bite to it, not the pap that you hear in the charts.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They were undoubtedly harder to make and are often far more refreshing than the usual pap that gets projected our way.’
- ‘It's all bland, unoriginal pap that will only appeal to the nostalgia-seekers of the original BSB generation.’
- ‘But this is just so run-of-the-mill, the pap churned out by the ton in the early sixties.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I remember thinking the plot was sentimental, rubbishy pap.’
- ‘The argument goes that TV schedules are full of pap, with too much concentration on entertainment rather than the worthier fare of education.’
- ‘They continue to resist the corporate juggernauts that routinely flatten talent into the pap of pop.’
- ‘Such ingenuity and self-confidence should be applauded at a time when Hollywood churns out bland twentysomething pap at vast cost.’
- ‘Not a day is free of the pap that infects British culture.’
- ‘He's a boyband superstar that sings mindless pap, right?’
- ‘It's said that the mainstream media is increasingly dominated by corporate interests, political spin, and bread and circuses postmodern pap.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late Middle English: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch pappe, probably based on Latin pappare ‘eat’.
A woman's breast or nipple.
- ‘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?’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Take a photograph of (a celebrity) without permission.‘she can't go to the gym or anywhere without being papped’
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