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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To seek to gain favor by flattery or attention.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. seek favor by fawning or flattery


Originally from a French poem Roman de Fauvel, written in the early 1300s; Fauvel was a conniving stallion, and the play was a satire on the corruption of social life. The name Fauvel points to the French fauve ('chestnut, reddish-yellow, or fawn'), another sense of fauve meaning the class of wild animals whose coats are at least partly brown, and the medieval belief that a fallow horse was a symbol of deceit and dishonesty. The phrase curry Fauvel, then, referred to flattering the horse, and was turned by later speakers into curry favor. (Wiktionary)


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