Word for November 6, 2019

I look for words in the books, magazines, and newspapers I read. If you have a word you would like defined on #WednesdayWordDay, please leave a comment, I’ll add it to the list. I would particularly like to invite those of you who are not native English speakers to provide words or idioms you would like to see clarified.

I now have a Facebook page. Follow me at @jjshaunauthor.

Today’s Word

(C) 2019 JJ Shaun
Lickspittle

Part of Speech

noun

Definition

  1. a contemptible, fawning person
  2. a servile flatterer or toady.
  3. a fawning subordinate
  4. a person who praises and tries to please people in authority, usually to get some advantage from them

History

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

Synonyms

Sycophant, bootlicker, apple-polisher, toady, ass-kisser

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.