(redirected from brown nosing)


1. verb To try to curry favor with someone through flattery or favors in the hopes of getting something in return. I'm not doing well at all in math this year, so it seems like brownnosing the teacher is my only hope for a good grade! Don't brownnose me with chocolates and sweet talk—just tell me what you want!
2. noun One who seeks out the approval, attention, and/or support of others, especially superiors, through abject subservience, flattery, or fawning. Tim is such an obvious brownnose, always complementing the boss on her ideas and saying yes to anything she suggests.

brown nose

Solicit favor obsequiously, toady. For example, Harry was always brown nosing, but it didn't help his grades. This term originated in the military in the late 1930s, where it meant "to curry favor"; it alludes to ass-kissing when the backside being kissed is less than clean. Despite its scatological origin, today this slangy term is not considered particularly vulgar.
See also: brown, nose


1. and brownie and brown-noser n. a sycophant; one who flatters for self-serving motives. You are just a plain old brown-nose. Will some brown-noser please try to get the teacher to put off the test?
2. tv. & in. to curry favor with someone; to be a sycophant. Don keeps brown-nosing, and the professor pretends not to notice.
References in periodicals archive ?
No, this is not a parallel to the difference between butt kissing and brown nosing being depth perception.
If you like to indulge in a bit of brown nosing among the so-called blue blooded classes, that's entirely up to you, if you seriously don't believe you're their equals.
The party that brought us the network, or the cartel, or official brown nosing, normally fixes things so it dodges such crises.
So to recap: lie through your teeth, cover those lies with even bigger ones, come on to one or all of your interviewers, dabble in a bit of brown nosing and try to crush or stroke their hands.
And the most interesting form of ingratiation is one that will be familiar to Washington Monthly readers--who by definition are smart enough to see through the simpler forms of brown nosing and fawning praise--and must therefore play the Master Game, where flattery is coated in irony and cynicism.
The leading five holiday indiscretions listed by respondents are drinking too much, forgetting a colleague's name, brown nosing with upper management, becoming romantically involved with a colleague, and getting caught gossiping.
Of course the WRU will plod on regardless with their brown nosing, but the petition at least shows the nation's strength of feeling.