2008年5月7日 星期三

small beer, namby-pamby, ineptitude





The daddy of them all, Genghis Khan, is probably spinning in his grave at Mongolia’s turn toward namby-pamby multi-party democracy.


In the meantime, foreign governments moan about his government’s corruption, ineptitude and abuses, but he knows they are itching to spend their aid budgets and they lack the guts to turn their tough words into action. With rising Asian neighbours like China and Vietnam keen to invest in Cambodia, and Western ones like America and France keen to maintain their presence, Mr Hun Sen can cheerfully play them off against each other, while collecting goodies from all.


namby-pamby adjective INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
weak, foolish or silly:
She probably regarded us as a bunch of namby-pamby liberals.


inept
not skilled or effective:
an inept comment/remark
He was always rather inept at sport.
He was criticized for his inept handling of the situation.
Dick was socially inept and uncomfortable in the presence of women.

ineptitude 
noun [U]

political/social/economic ineptitude



small beer
n.
  1. Weak or inferior beer.
  2. Unimportant things; trivia.
adj.
Trivial; unimportant.



Also, small potatoes. Of little importance, as in Don't listen to Henry; he's small beer, or It's silly to worry about that bill; it's small potatoes.

The first term alludes to a beer of low alcoholic content (also called light beer today) and was used metaphorically by Shakespeare in several plays.

The variant may have been invented by frontiersman Davy Crockett; it was first recorded in 1836. Also see small fry, def. 2.


small beer : Meaning #1: something of small importance
Synonyms: trivia, triviality, trifle

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