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Mollycoddle

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  • Mollycoddle (one unhyphenated word) was once primarily a noun referring to (1) a person, especially a male, who is coddled, or (2) an effeminate man. The word is British in origin. It came about in the early 19th century as a derogatory term for an effeminate man. In modern usage, however, those old connotations are largely lost, and the word usually functions as a verb meaning to be overprotective or overindulgent toward.

    Examples

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    These are tough plants, so don’t mollycoddle them in a greenhouse unless you know them to be tender. [Daily Mail]

    Controversial social commentator Celia Lashlie has lashed out at mothers who mollycoddle their sons. [TVNZ]

    We’ve become stifled and mollycoddled by “health and safety”. [Telegraph]

    Yet he is mollycoddling Bosnia’s and Kosovo’s militant Serbian minorities who are undermining international peace efforts. [Toronto Star]

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