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sycophant = Kriecher, Schmeichler, Schleimer, Speichellecker, Hofierer, Lobhudler



“Trump SYCOPHANT seeks shelter from grand jury probe.”

Boston Globe Headline (26 August 2022)

“Isolated and surrounded by SYCOPHANTS, the Russian president may have lost touch with the real world.”

Andreas Kluth - Bloomberg - ’Vladimir Putin Has No Time for Your Reality’ (23 Februar 2022)

Did you


- a servile self-seeking flatterer

- someone praising powerful people for personal advantage

- a person who praises people in authority in a way that is not sincere, usually in order to get some advantage from them

Merriam-Webster / Macmillan Dictionary / Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


“Sycophant” comes from the Latin sycophanta and the Greek sykophantes, originally meaning “one who shows the fig” (sykon = fig + phanein = to show). The act of showing the fig was a vulgar gesture made by sticking the thumb between two fingers.

The sense of "praising people in authority" was first recorded in English in 1575.


One day Frederick the Great conducted a tour of inspection of a prison in Berlin. While most prisoners approached the king, protesting their innocence, one man remained unusually silent. It was to this man that Frederick turned:

-  “You…”
-  “Yes?”
-  “Why are you here?”
-  “Armed robbery, Your Majesty.”
-  “Are you guilty?”
-  “Yes, Your Majesty. I deserve my punishment.”

At this, Frederick summoned the prison warden.

-  “Release this guilty wretch at once,” he commanded, “I will not have him kept in this prison, where he will corrupt all of its innocent occupants.”


One who uses obsequious* compliments to gain self-serving favour or advantage from another

adulator, apple-polisher, backscratcher, backslapper, bootlicker, chamcha, charmer, crawler, creep, cringer, crony, dogsbody, doormat, doter, fawner, flatterer, flunkey, gofer, gopher, groupie, groveller, hanger-on, hireling, jackal, kiss-up, kowtower, lackey, lapdog, lickspittle, minion, obsequious person, people-pleaser, poodle, social climber, spaniel, suck-up, sucker, suck(er) up, sweet talker, SYCOPHANT, teacher’s pet, toad-eater, toady, truckler, underling, Uriah Heep, wannabe, yeasayer, yes-man, yes-person, yes-woman

*obsequious = unterwürfig, kriecherisch

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“It's fascinating to observe SYCOPHANTIC behaviour in politics these days."

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Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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