obsequious


overly obedient

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“The offence itself was bad enough - overspending by OBSEQUIOUS officials and contractors who managed to spend £14.3m of public money lavishly upgrading South African President Jacob’s Zuma’s private homestead.”

BBC News

Did you
know?

obsequious
adjective

- too eager to help or obey someone important

Merriam-Webster Dictionary


ORIGIN

First appearance in English in the 1500s. From the Latin ‘obsequiosus’, meaning compliant or obedient. Obsequious describes people who try very hard to please someone with power, wealth, or high standing. By using this word, we show that we disapprove of the way the person is behaving.


SYNONYMS

adulatory, apple-polishing, ass-kissing, beggarly, blarneying, bootlicking, bowing and scraping, brown-nosing, buttering-up, crawling, cringing, enslaved, fawning, flannelling, forelock-tugging, grovelling, gushing, honey-tongued, ingratiating, kowtowing, lickspittle, mealy-mouthed, OBSEQUIOUS, overly flattering, servile, smarmy, snivelling, soft-soaping, spineless, subservient, suckholing, sucking up, sycophantic, teacher's pet, too keen to please, toadying, unctuous, Uriah Heepish, yes-man


OBSEQUIOUSNESS DOESN'T PAY

During an illness early in Caligula’s reign, a commoner vowed to give his own life if the emperor recovered. The man made the promise publicly, hoping through his extravagant offer to show his deep loyalty and to elicit a generous award. Although Caligula did recover, the tactic backfired spectacularly. Once back on his feet, Caligula chose to take the man at his word and ordered his execution.


PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, discuss something like:

“The more expensive the location, the more obsequious the service staff.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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