milk-and-water love


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

  • adj. Insipid; weak; wishy-washy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Insipid, like milk diluted with water; hence, weak; characterless; wishy-washy.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He deemed the clerk a filthy, uncultured brute, whose place was in the muck with the swine, and told him so; and he was reciprocally informed that he was a milk-and-water sissy and a cad.

    In a Far Country

  • I approach her, not with the milk-and-water ardours of first youth, nor with the lusty love madness of young manhood, but as an intellectual man, seeking for self and mate the ripe and rounded manhood and womanhood which comes only through the having of children — children which must be properly born and bred.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • In the days before the House vote, he pleaded with progressive Congressmen to save his Presidency by going along with what most of them regarded as a milk-and-water brand of socialism.


  • No more namby pamby, milk-and-water, pale pink policies for him.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • “Change the milk-and-water style of your last memorial; assume a bolder tone,” the address advised.

    Robert Morris

  • Cuthfert, the "master of arts," is revealed to Weatherbee to be "a milk-and-water sissy and a cad."

    “. . .confusion to the Mounted Police!”

  • Like Dershowitz's bizzarre claim that all 'left-wingers' acknowledge the crimes committed by those on the left, as if milk-and-water liberals or pink leftists are of the same strain as Stalin!

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Very occasionally we come across a case where we do not think it appropriate to bump up the sentence; unfortunately the law says that we must, so the invaluable Ways and Means Act is invoked, and we impose some milk-and-water requirement such as a one month's residence condition.

    Breach Loaded

  • Perhaps one of the deepest mysteries of our own times is not that Darwinian atheists, whom Dr Williams takes to task in his opening pages, have emerged from the milk-and-water post-Enlightenment religious traditions of England to mock simple-minded American-style Evangelicalism.

    The Archbishop's Dostoevsky - TLS

  • If you regard abortion as murder, then it is preposterous to use the sort of milk-and-water language that one might use to attack Gordon Brown's Tax Credits to denounce abortion.



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