curry favor

Idioms & Phrases

curry favor

Seek gain or advancement by fawning or flattery, as in Edith was famous for currying favor with her teachers. This expression originally came from the Old French estriller fauvel, "curry the fallow horse," a beast that in a 14th-century allegory stood for duplicity and cunning. It came into English about 1400 as curry favelthat is, curry (groom with a currycomb) the animaland in the 1500s became the present term.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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