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1. Overly sentimental, maudlin, or effeminate. Said almost exclusively of a man. You say you don't want some aggressive alpha male, but then you dismiss more sensitive, intellectual guys as being too namby-pamby—make up your mind! My father always looked down on the guys I dated in college as "namby-pamby boys" because they were usually pretty soft-spoken and didn't play any sports.
2. Weak, ineffectual, or spineless; lacking determination, vigor, and decisiveness. His election to office has lauded by his supporters as a rejection of the namby-pamby politics of his predecessor. We can't be namby-pamby about how to operate the business—if we're going to survive, we have to make tough choices right away.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
mod. overly nice; effeminate and weak, when said of a male. Fred is too namby-pamby when it comes to making up his mind.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.