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Alphonse and Gaston

adjective
1.
marked by a ritualistic courtliness in which two often competing participants graciously but stubbornly defer to each other:
a kind of Alphonse and Gaston act in which each man insisted the other go through the doorway first.
Also, Alphonse-and-Gaston.
Origin
after the title characters of a cartoon strip by American cartoonist Frederick Burr Opper (1857-1937), which first appeared in 1905
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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