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See also: Pablum


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Borrowed from Latin pābulum (nourishment), with the modern sense coming via the brand name Pablum.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpæbləm/
  • (file)


pablum (usually uncountable, plural pablums)

  1. Anything overly bland or simplistic, especially speech or writing.
    • 1992 October 23, Ben Wattenberg, “Writer Likes Clinton”, in Daily Sentinel, page 2:
      The Republican argument today is pablum, mush and saccharine. (Which exhausts my edible metaphors.)
    • 2008, James Boyle, The Public Domain[1]:
      To me, these points seem bland, boring, obvious—verging on tautology or pablum. To many believers in the worldview I have described, they are either straightforward heresy or a smokescreen for some real, underlying agenda—which is identified as communism, anarchism, or, somewhat confusingly, both.
    • 2021 August 23, Josh Blackman, “Noah Feldman Indulges in Brett Kavanaugh Fan Fiction on Dobbs”, in Reason[2]:
      And [the Supreme Court] will have to elaborate on Justice Kennedy's nausea-inducing pablum about liberty and jurisprudences of doubt.
    • 2022 July 27, Keith Schneider, “James Lovelock, Whose Gaia Theory Saw the Earth as Alive, Dies at 103”, in The New York Times[3], ISSN 0362-4331:
      A few scientists greeted the hypothesis as a thoughtful way to explain how living systems influenced the planet. Many others, however, called it New Age pablum.
  2. (dated) Nourishment.