Recorded since the thirteenth century as a term of abuse for a man lacking courage, and still to be heard in school playgrounds, according to the Opies in The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. The original reference was probably to bread sopped in milk and fed to young infants. Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, has Injun Joe calling his companion ‘Milksop!’ when the latter says that a suggested project is dangerous.

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

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  • Milksop — Milk sop , n. A piece of bread sopped in milk; figuratively, an effeminate or weak minded person. Shak. [1913 Webster] To wed a milksop or a coward ape. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • milksop — (n.) effeminate spiritless man, late 14c., attested as a (fictional) surname mid 13c.; also applied in Middle English to the infant Christ. Literal sense piece of bread soaked in milk attested late 15c.; see MILK (Cf. milk) (n.) + SOP (Cf. sop)… …   Etymology dictionary

  • milksop — [n] coward baby*, caitiff, chicken*, chicken heart*, chicken liver*, cry baby, deserter, fraidy cat*, jellyfish*, lily liver, momma’s boy*, namby pamby, pansy, pantywaist, quitter, scaredy cat*, sissy*, weakling, wimp, wuss*, wussy*, yellow,… …   New thesaurus

  • milksop — ► NOUN ▪ a timid and indecisive person …   English terms dictionary

  • milksop — [milk′säp΄] n. a man seen as timid, ineffectual, effeminate, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Milksop — Wikipedia does not have an encyclopedia article for Milksop (search results). You may want to read Wiktionary s entry on milksop instead.wiktionary:Special:Search/milksop …   Wikipedia

  • milksop — UK [ˈmɪlkˌsɒp] / US [ˈmɪlkˌsɑp] noun [countable] Word forms milksop : singular milksop plural milksops old fashioned an insulting word for a boy or man who is not brave …   English dictionary

  • Milksop — Recorded in many forms including Melsop, Mellsop, Milsap, Millsap, Millsop, Milsop, Milksop, Milksopp and Milkesoppe, this is a medieval English surname. It would seem to have been either a rather cruel nickname for a male person who was… …   Surnames reference

  • milksop — milk|sop [ˈmılksɔp US sa:p] n old fashioned [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: milksop bread softened in milk (14 15 centuries)] a boy or man who is too gentle and weak, and who is afraid to do anything difficult or dangerous …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • milksop — /ˈmɪlksɒp / (say milksop) noun 1. a dish of bread, etc., soaked in milk, as given to children and invalids. 2. an effeminate man or youth. –milksopism, noun …  

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