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a sop to Cerberus
A bribe. Taken from the ancient Greek and Roman custom of leaving gifts with corpses so that Cerberus (guardian of the gates of hell) would pass them by. What is this money, a sop to Cerberus so that I won't tell the authorities what you've done?
See also: sop
To absorb some liquid through dipping, wiping, or drenching. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sop" and "up." As rainwater poured into the basement, we grabbed every towel and sheet we could find to sop it all up. I love using my toast to sop up the runny yolk from my fried eggs.
1. adjective Extremely weak, timid, or ineffectual. We're going to be the laughingstock of the world after such a milksop response from our government. We can't afford some milksop plan that just keeps the status quo—we need something drastic and daring that might really improve our sales. In the play, the hero returns to drive the milksop suitor from his home and reclaim his rightful place by his wife's side.
2. noun An extremely weak, timid, or ineffectual man. We need a president who's going to lead the nation with strength and resolve, not some milquestoast who'll just kowtow to every foreign leader who raises his voice. I swear, I don't know why I ever married a milksop like you. You can't even defend your own wife when she's been insulted!
sop something up
to mop or soak up a liquid. Use this rag to sop the spilled milk up. The rag will sop up the mess a little at a time.
a sop to Cerberussomething offered to appease someone.
In Greek mythology, Cerberus was the three-headed watchdog which guarded the entrance of Hades. In the Aeneid Virgil describes how the Sibyl guiding Aeneas to the underworld threw a drugged cake to Cerberus, thus enabling the hero to pass the monster in safety.
See also: sop
To take something up by absorption; absorb something: We sopped up the water with paper towels. I sopped the sauce up with a piece of bread.
1. n. a drunkard; an alcoholic. Give the old sop a buck and tell him to beat it.
2. tv. & in. to guzzle (liquor). You’ve sopped booze long enough. Go home.