dance attendance on

Idioms & Phrases

dance attendance on

Wait on attentively and obsequiously, obey someone's every wish or whim. For example, He expected his secretary to dance attendance on him so she quit her job. This expression alludes to the old custom of making a bride dance with every wedding guest. In the 1500s it was used first to mean "await" an audience with someone, but by about 1600 it had acquired its present meaning. Also see at someone's beck and call.

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