What is the correct way to use pamac in the terminal?

with plasma touch, pamac does not parse in bash. why?

pamac is not installed on Plasma Mobile.

Do you mean pacman?
In that case, try running pacman -h.

Can I install pamac safely from somewhere?

Edit: pamac is installed on the Phosh fork and works great.

Sure. Run sudo pacman -S pamac-gtk.

Being a GTK application, it might not scale right or accept some keyboard inputs.

The reason I stick to pamac is to avoid AUR when possible for security reasons. is this in error?

You can just use pacman for that though.

Pamac can handle the AUR whereas pacman cannot, I think you have it the wrong way round.

thank you for highlighting my confusion - what repos does pacman access?

The Manjaro reposirories called core, extra and community.

Thank you for your answers.
Things are working out for me better now, minus my issues with kde connect not sending keyboard signals

The last time I tried it, pamac had the classic GTK3/libhandy issues under Plasma Mobile (hamburger menu not clickable, interface not mobile friendly).

However, you can install pamac-cli and use pamac without a graphical interface.

hamburger menu not clickable

That is the longstanding issue:

KWin developers are finally working on a fix, but it is still under review and not released in any KWin release (nor even in the git master branch) yet.