Mollycoddle

May 7, 2022

Mollycoddle / verb / mol·​ly·​cod·​dle

We use the word “mollycoddle” in the English language as a verb and a noun. Used as a verb, “mollycoddle” represents the excessive and often unnecessary overprotective behaviors and “coddling” of others. These types of behaviors are common between parents and children. In most cases, we see overprotected siblings and other younger people as being “spoiled” or ‘coddled’. As a noun, the word “mollycoddle” has a negative connotation. It represents slang for a man or boy considered to be effeminate and less than masculine.

In a Sentence

The new parents didn’t know it was a mistake to mollycoddle their infant every second of the day.

She is so used to being mollycoddled, that she doesn’t understand what the word “no” means.

People mollycoddled as children can suffer from a lack of social skills as adults.

Etymology

We find the first use of the word “mollycoddle” in Britain around the 19th century. Etymologists say we introduced the word in language as a noun to represent derogatory commentary about an effeminate male. The word “mollycoddle” took on its secondary use as a verb representing the overprotection of others (commonly children and younger people) after this time period.

Synonym

Baby, Pamper

Antonym

Abuse, Mistreat

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