While it is okay for parents to coddle, spoil, or pamper a young child, it’s a little unnerving when parents coddle, or pamper adult children. And downright weird when adult children wear Pampers.
Coddle is an old word. Originally, it meant to cook gently in water that is near boiling, as in coddling an egg. It most likely gained its association with pampering and taking care of someone via a drink made for invalids that was prepared by coddling. “Mollycoddle,” a synonym for coddle, originally meant a person who coddles himself, or an effeminate man.