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Milquetoast vs milktoast

A milquetoast is a person who is skittish, unassuming, timid, weak. Milquetoast is mainly an American term, coming from an American cartoon drawn by Harold T Webster in the 1920s through the 1950s called The Timid Soul. The cartoon revolved around a character called Caspar Milquetoast.

Milktoast is an eggcorn of milquetoast. An eggcorn is a misheard or misspelled version of a word. Interestingly, the name of the character Caspar Milquetoast is inspired by the American dish milk toast, an extremely simple dish of sliced buttered toast with milk poured over it that is intended for people who are ill.


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Examples

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests blasted his appointment in a press release, calling him “a glad-handing milquetoast who toes the party line with a smile instead of a scold” and criticizing him for not reaching out to victims of a priest convicted of a sexual crime. (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

This is what stood out about Saturday’s milquetoast BYU spring game: Sitake is winning the offseason. (The Deseret News)

Hence the milquetoast measures, the feints and distractions and dithering, the places kept empty by distant owners, the tear-downs, the golden transactions among the most fortunate, and for too many others, simple dreams of homeownership, all broken to pieces. (The National Post)

In 1952, he got a regular gig on Mr. Peepers, which starred Wally Cox as a milquetoast science teacher. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Don’t be turned off by their milquetoast nature — these are players who can help a fantasy team. (The New York Post)

At the same time, many influential voices on the far right assailed establishment Republicans as milquetoast moderates. (The Atlantic)

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