Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Affectedly delicate or refined; mincing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. affectedly dainty or refined

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of namby-pamby.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And, in case you think I am sounding too niminy-piminy here, a third tucking into his 'Double Bubble, two slice and a cup a tea please love' while enjoying the special delights of The Sun.

    A man and his newspaper are never parted

  • I don't think we need have any niminy-piminy fancies against that.

    Time and Again

  • These fashion-plates of fifty years ago are designed by very different hands from those which produce our niminy-piminy looking things, -- by artists plainly; and your peasant-girl was seized upon by some errant knight of palette and brush, and painted for her beauty.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 24, October, 1859

  • Inside were many fine pictures, not in the niminy-piminy manner, but strong, full-coloured, and just.

    The Path to Rome

  • The girl, poor thing, was in her normal state, a niminy-piminy, affected milliner, and nothing more, only seeming very much overcome by being in company with so many fine people.

    Selections from the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • You're a brave lass for all your niminy-piminy lingo.

    The Refugees

  • 'Humph!' said Malevola, 'your precious daughter will have beauty and grace and all the rest of the tuppenny halfpenny rubbish those niminy-piminy minxes have given her.

    The Magic World

  • Wheer would th 'owd country be if 'twere left to pulin' booky clerks what thinks they're gemmen, an 'what weds niminy-piminy shop gels, an' breeds nowt but ricketty babes fit for workus 'burial!

    The Treasure of Heaven A Romance of Riches

  • The church here is tough and coarse, and full of grit, like a grindstone; and it does ministers from other more niminy-piminy places all sorts of good to come here once in a while and rub themselves up against it.

    The Damnation of Theron Ware

  • So we'll all have to walk just niminy-piminy till then.

    Dorothy's Travels

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Comments

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  • "The church here is tough and coarse, and full of grit, like a grindstone; and it does ministers from other more niminy-piminy places all sorts of good to come here once in a while and rub themselves up against it."

    - Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware, ch. 17

    August 2, 2008

  • Aw, this word makes me happy because it reminds me so much of the opening of Little Women:

    "I detest rude, unladylike girls!"

    "I hate affected, niminy-piminy chits!"


    April 13, 2008

  • I'm going to use that phrase daily. The port-admiral be damned.

    March 6, 2008

  • Yes! The port-admiral be damned.

    March 6, 2008

  • I call for different grades of affected daintiness. Why else could you pair niminy-piminy with blackguard?

    March 6, 2008

  • *stomping onto the page* Hey! Who says we're not dainty??

    March 5, 2008

  • Do namby-pamby and niminy-piminy represent different grades of affected daintiness, or are they exact synonyms?

    March 5, 2008

  • I think it's safe to say that almost no on here on Wordie fits the definition up there.

    March 5, 2008

  • "'I utterly refuse to have that niminy-piminy blackguard on my quarterdeck,' said Jack. 'The port-admiral be damned.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 73

    February 20, 2008