blandishment/s = Schmeichelei, Liebkosung, Einflüsterung, schmeichelhafte Worte
“It began last Sunday when Boris Johnson, newly arrived at the G7 summit in southern Germany, told ITV that his ‘golden rule’ for politics – ‘The job of the government is to get on with governing, and to resist the BLANDISHMENTS of the media,…”
Peter Walker - The. Guardian “Boris Johnson’s new ‘golden rule’: the bunker mentality” (30th June 2022)
- a flattering or pleasing statement or action used as a means of gently persuading someone to do something
The verb “blandish” meaning “to flatter”, stems from the mid 14th century, from Old French blandiss “to flatter, caress”, from Latin blandus “smooth-talking, flattering, alluring”.
In 1509, Dutch Renaissance social critic and Catholic priest Erasmus of Rotterdam praised the act of flattery, saying that it “raises downcast spirits, comforts the sad, rouses the apathetic, stirs up the stolid, cheers the sick, restrains the headstrong, brings lovers together and keeps them united.”
Others have taken a more negative view over the centuries, the Bible for instance: Psalm 55:20-2 states “His speech was smoother than butter, but his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” In other words, flattery is seen as dishonest and having a hidden agenda.
FORGET THE FLATTERY !
Oliver Cromwell, not a big fan of blandishments, once sat for the famous artist Peter Lely, renowned for his portraits of the ladies and noblemen of Charles I’s court.
“Mr. Lely,” Cromwell counselled the painter, “I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.”
Actor/director Henry Winkler’s reputation enabled him to meet many great people in the film industry, including the legendary James “Jimmy” Stewart.
“I had met Mr. and Mrs. Stewart at a dinner awhile back,” Winkler later recalled. “When I sat next to them at the circus recently, they remembered my name. So I said to Mrs. Stewart, ‘Dorothy, I can’t tell you how flattered I am’.”
Dorothy might have been flattered too, if her name had not been Gloria!
- the fawning behaviour of a sycophant
abasing oneself before, adulating, alluring, apple-polishing, back-scratching, behaving obsequiously, bending the knee, beslavering, BLANDISHING, blarneying, bobbing a curtsy, bootlicking, bowing and scraping, brown-nosing, buddying up, buttering up (to), cajoling, coaxing, cozying up, crawling (to), creeping (to), cringing before, crouching, curry favour (with), dancing attendance on, deferring to, demeaning oneself (to), eating crow (dirt, humble pie), eulogising, exalting, expressing admiration for, falling all over, falling on one’s knees, falling over oneself for, fawning (on, over, upon), flanneling, flattering, folding, fussing, genuflecting, getting around (in with, on the right side of, round), glorifying, groveling (before, to), gushing over, handing a line, hero-worshipping, honeying (up), humbling oneself, humouring, ingratiating (oneself with), inveigling, jawboning, jollying, keeping someone sweet, kissing-up (to), kissing someone’s feet, knuckling under, kowtowing (to), lauding, laying it on thick (with a trowel), licking someone’s boots, lionising, lying down and rolling over, oiling, pampering, pandering (to), paying BLANDISHMENTS to, paying court (to), paying tribute to, playing up to, praising, praising to excess, praising to the skies, prostrating oneself (before), puffing up, putting on a pedestal, rubbing up the right way, saying uncle, scraping, seeking the favour of, singing the praises of, slavering, smoodging (to), smooth-talking, snivelling, soaping, soft-soaping, spreading it on, sucking up to, sweet-talking, sweetening up, talking blarney, toadying (to), truckling (to), venerating, wangling, wheedling, worming
SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:
“There’s a certain psychological type, arrogant, self-absorbed, attention-seeking, narcissistic, which seems to thrive on BLANDISHMENTS.”
THANKS to Gloria for suggesting today’s word
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