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[nam-bee-pam-bee] /ˈnæm biˈpæm bi/

without firm methods or policy; weak or indecisive:
namby-pamby handling of juvenile offenders.
lacking in character, directness, or moral or emotional strength:
namby-pamby writing.
weakly sentimental, pretentious, or affected; insipid.
noun, plural namby-pambies for 4.
a namby-pamby person:
written by and for namby-pambies.
namby-pamby sentiment:
the harmless namby-pamby of a birthday card.
namby-pamby verse or prose.
sentimental or prim in a weak insipid way: namby-pamby manners
clinging, feeble, or spineless: a namby-pamby child
noun (pl) -bies
a person who is namby-pamby

“weakly sentimental, insipidly pretty,” 1745, from satiric nickname of English poet Ambrose Philips (1674-1749) mocking his sentimental pastorals addressed to infant members of the nobility. Used first in 1726 in a farce credited to Carey. Related: Namby-pambical.


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  • Name after

    Also, name for. Give someone or something the name of another person or place. For example, They named the baby after his grandfather, or The mountain was named for President McKinley.

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