Friday, 12 November 2010


toady (td)
n. pl. toad·ies
A person who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons; a sycophant.
tr. & intr.v. toad·ied, toad·y·ing, toad·ies
To be a toady to or behave like a toady. See Synonyms at fawn1.


[From toad.]
Word History: The earliest recorded sense (around 1690) of toady is "a little or young toad," but this has nothing to do with the modern usage of the word. The modern sense has rather to do with the practice of certain quacks or charlatans who claimed that they could draw out poisons. Toads were thought to be poisonous, so these charlatans would have an attendant eat or pretend to eat a toad and then claim to extract the poison from the attendant. Since eating a toad is an unpleasant job, these attendants came to epitomize the type of person who would do anything for a superior, and toadeater (first recorded 1629) became the name for a flattering, fawning parasite. Toadeater and the verb derived from it, toadeat, influenced the sense of the noun and verb toad and the noun toady, so that both nouns could mean "sycophant" and the verb toady could mean "to act like a toady to someone."

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