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Title: Sycophancy  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Bullying, OBN, List of Stratos 4 characters, The Seven Deadly Sins of Modern Times, Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday
Collection: Ancient Greece, Bullying, Human Behavior, Social Psychology
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Botticelli's illustration of Dante's Inferno shows insincere flatterers grovelling in excrement in the second pit of the eighth circle.[1]

Sycophancy[2] is flattery that is very obedient, or an indication of deference to another, to an excessive or servile degree. A user of sycophancy is referred to as a sycophant.

Alternative phrases are often used such as:

  • apple-polishing
  • ass kissing
  • ass licking
  • bootlicker
  • brown nosing
  • crawler
  • fawning
  • flunky
  • grovelling
  • hanger-on
  • kowtowing
  • lickspittle
  • sucking up
  • toady
  • yes man

See also


  1. ^ Italian culture 15, American Association of University Professors of Italian, 1997, p. 80 
  2. ^ Alphons Silbermann, translator Ladislaus Loeb (2000), Grovelling and other vices: the sociology of sycophancy, Continuum International Publishing Group,  

Further reading

  • Clark, L. P. (1934). "A Psychological Study of Sycophancy". Psychoanalytic Review 21: 15–39. 
  • Lofberg, John Oscar (2008) [1917]. Sycophancy in Athens (Reprint ed.). Whitefish: Kessinger.  
  • Sussman, Lyle (1980). "Sex and sycophancy: Communication strategies for ascendance in same-sex and mixed-sex superior-subordinate dyads". Sex Roles 6 (1): 113–127.  

External links

  • The dictionary definition of sycophancy at Wiktionary
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