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Part of Speech
- a contemptible, fawning person
- a servile flatterer or toady.
- a fawning subordinate
- a person who praises and tries to please people in authority, usually to get some advantage from them
Also lick-spittle, “sycophant, abject toady, one who will do any repulsive thing.” the 1740s, from lick and spittle. The phrase “lick the spittle” was first recorded as a repulsive act sometime in the seventeenth century. One of the first common uses of lickspittle, or toady, was in the early to mid-nineteenth century. As you can see, being called a lickspittle has connotations of being a suck-up, or worse.
Usage and Examples
Here are a few examples:
- Smith, the new guy in the office, was turning into such a lickspittle with the boss.
- And Washington is revealed once again as our modern Versailles, a place of courtiers and lickspittles who’d use the Ministry of Justice to serve their ambitions.
— John Kass, https://www.chicagotribune.com,
“Obama’s silky lie and FBI bias in the Clinton investigation,”
15 June 2018