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Mamby pamby

Posted by Gary Martin on September 27, 2005

In Reply to: Mamby pamby posted by Jim Walsh on September 27, 2005

: I've heard the phrase used since my childhood, and I may have totally botched the spelling, but has anyone heard of the phrase "mamby pamby" used to refer to someone who is weak or fearful or a sissy?

That's namby-pamby. This was the nickname given by Alexander Pope to Ambrose Phillips, who was a minor poet in the 18th century. Pope and his friends had little time for Philips and considered him and his works insipid and sentimental.