Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sycophant, a yes-man.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who strives to put another under obligation; an officious person; hence, a flatterer. Used also adjectively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To obtain by the methods of a pickthank.
  • n. One who picks a thank (see under pick, v.); an officious fellow who does what he is not asked to do, for the sake of gaining favor; a parasite; a flatterer; a toady; also, a talebearer; a busybody. Also used adjectively.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • I If I had not held you as so old an acquaintance, this should have gone to my Lady’s ears though I had been called pickthank and tale-pyet for my pains, as when I told of Roland Graeme shooting the wild swan.”

    The Abbot

  • A new-married man, when a pickthank friend of his, to curry favour, had showed him his wife familiar in private with a young gallant, courting and dallying,

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • It is at best but a pettifogging, pickthank business to decompose actions into little personal motives, and explain heroism away.

    Virginibus Puerisque and other papers

  • The amateur cannot usually rise into the artist, some leaven of the world still clogging him; and we find Pepys behaving like a pickthank to the man who taught him composition.

    Samuel Pepys

  • Miss Vernon, as she gave a glance after him; it is hard that persons of birth and rank and estate should be subjected to the official impertinence of such a paltry pickthank as that, merely for believing as the whole world believed not much above a hundred years ago --- for certainly our Catholic Faith has the advantage of antiquity at least. ''

    Rob Roy

  • Le Mercier was a pickthank, angling after the favor of La Pompadour, -- a pretentious knave, as hollow as one of his own mortars.

    The Golden Dog

  • "There he goes for a troublesome mischief-making tool," said Miss Vernon, as she gave a glance after him; it is hard that persons of birth and rank and estate should be subjected to the official impertinence of such a paltry pickthank as that, merely for believing as the whole world believed not much above a hundred years ago -- for certainly our Catholic

    Rob Roy — Volume 01

  • I do not see what they can do better, and unless some pickthank intervene to insinuate certain irritating suspicions, I suppose Lord M. will make no objection.

    The Journal of Sir Walter Scott From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford

  • Flatterers and toadies: scrapeshoe, clawback, and scratch-book, suckfist, pickthank (s), lickspittle (also-spit) and, possibly, flattercap, though perhaps only when he is gushing over millinery.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 1

  • [52] and be deaf unto the suggestions of tale-bearers, calumniators, pickthank or malevolent delators, who, while quiet men sleep, sowing the tares of discord and division, distract the tranquillity of charity and all friendly society.

    Christian Morals

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  • Citation on pickthanke.

    August 15, 2010


  • ~ pickthank – a sycophant, a yes-man (one who would steal your gratitude and pick a thank)


    "Our term 'yes-man' seem like weak watered ale, compared with Shakespeare's catalog of lusty terms for this unpleasant person."

    Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
    Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick
    – Love's Labour's Lost, Act 5, Scene 2

    Yet such extenuation let me beg,
    As, in reproof of many tales devised,
    Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear,_By smiling pickthanks and base news-mongers,
    – King Henry IV, Part I, Act 3, Scene 2

    January 18, 2009

  • pickthank – one who strives to put another under obligation; an officious person; hence, a flatterer

    July 26, 2008