brownnose

brown-nose

[broun-nohz] Slang.
verb (used without object), brown-nosed, brown-nosing.
1.
to curry favor; behave obsequiously.
verb (used with object), brown-nosed, brown-nosing.
2.
to seek favors from (a person) in an obsequious manner; fawn over.
noun
3.
Also, brown-noser. a toady; sycophant.
Compare ass-kissing.


Origin:
1935–40; brown + nose

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World English Dictionary
brown-nose
 
vb
1.  to be abjectly subservient (to); curry favour (with)
 
n
2.  an abjectly subservient person; sycophant
 
[C20: from the notion that a subservient person kisses the backside of the person with whom he or she is currying favour]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

brown-nose
also brownnose, 1939, Amer.Eng. colloquial, said to be military slang originally, from brown + nose, "from the implication that servility is tantamount to having one's nose in the anus of the person from whom advancement is sought" [Webster, 1961]. Related: Brown-noser, brown-nosing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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