Sunday, March 15, 2020

Words for Subservient People and Actions

Words for Subservient People and Actions Words for Subservient People and Actions Words for Subservient People and Actions By Maeve Maddox One of the most unforgettable characters in literature is Uriah Heep in the novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Heep works as clerk to Miss Trotwoods lawyer, Mr. Wickfield. Because Wickfield is often incapacitated by alcoholism, Heep is able to cheat him out of his wealth. Heeps most memorable and repellent characteristic is his frequently avowed humility. He constantly refers to himself as a very umble person, telling David I am well aware that I am the umblest person goingMy mother is likewise a very umble person. We live in a numble abode, Master Copperfield, but have much to be thankful for. My fathers former calling was umble. He was a sexton. Heep is the stereotypical toady, a person who bows and scrapes his way among his superiors, plotting his own ends behind an obsequious exterior. Here are some words for writing about such characters. NOUNS toady [tÃ… dÄ“] a fawning flatterer The word is thought to be a shortening of toad-eater a term that referred to the assistant of a travelling salesman who sold fraudulent miracle cures. The assistant would eat a toad that was supposed to be poisonous. The salesman then gave him the cure. Toady can also be used as a verb. Why do you toady to your boss like that? sycophant [sÄ ­kÉ™-fÉ™nt] This word is commonly used to refer to someone who flatters people in power. As soon as Jones lost the election, those sycophants fled to the side of his opponent. NOTE: The word sycophant is often mispronounced by inserting an n after the y. The adjective is sycophantic apple-polisher [ÄÆ'pl pÃ… lÄ ­sh É™r] In the old days, teachers were often paid their salaries in kind, that is, with produce or other necessities. Taking an apple to the teacher was a good thing. Now taking an apple to the teacher is seen as an attempt to gain favoritism. Polishing the apple signifies an extra effort to gain favor. lickspittle [lÄ ­kspÄ ­tl]- You may come across this word in old books. The idea is that the sycophant is so eager to please that hell even lick up his masters spit. bootlick [bÃ… «tlÄ ­k] One who licks his masters boots. ass-kisser [ÄÆ's kÄ ­s É™r]- Same idea as booklick. brown-nose [broun nÃ… z] (side effect of kissing a posterior) Can also be used as a verb. Harold is a brown-nose. He brown-noses all his professors. doormat [dà ´rmÄÆ't] a person who allows other people to walk all over her. VERBS kowtow [kou-tou, koutou] to abase oneself before another. The word is from a Chinese word meaning to bump the head. The proper way to present oneself to the Emperor was to kowtow, that is, get down and bump your head on the floor before the throne. That rock star expects all his band members to kowtow to him . truckle [trÃ… ­kÉ™l] behave in a servile, obedient manner to someone. The word derives from truckle bed. A truckle bed is a small bed that rolls out from underneath a larger one. When travelling, an aristocrat would sleep on the big bed and his servant on the truckle bed. If two equals travelled together, theyd probably argue or flip a coin over which one slept on the truckle bed. She truckles to his every whim. ADJECTIVES fawning [fà ´nÄ ­ng] The word comes from the verb to fawn, meaning behave like an animal happy to see its master. I cant stand watching you fawn all over her! obsequious [Ã… b-sÄ“kwÄ“-É™s] exhibiting a demeaning, servile behavor. Fraternity pledges survive by obsequious behavior to the members. servile [sà »rvÄ «l] from the word for slave. In a slave society, self-confidence and self-respect are not traits desirable in ones human property. Servile means acting like a slave, i.e., staying out of the way, not calling attention to oneself, jumping when the master snaps his fingers. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! Keep learning! Browse the Vocabulary category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:7 English Grammar Rules You Should Know5 Lessons for Mixing Past and Present TenseComma After Introductory Phrases

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