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curry favor

To ingratiate oneself to someone Flattery won't work; the only way of currying favor with him is through hard work.
See also: curry, favor
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

curry favor

Seek gain or advancement by fawning or flattery, as in Edith was famous for currying favor with her teachers. This expression originally came from the Old French estriller fauvel, "curry the fallow horse," a beast that in a 14th-century allegory stood for duplicity and cunning. It came into English about 1400 as curry favel-that is, curry (groom with a currycomb) the animal-and in the 1500s became the present term.
See also: curry, favor
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

curry favor

To seek or gain favor by fawning or flattery.
See also: curry, favor
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

curry favor, to

To flatter insincerely in order to get ahead. The term, which has been known since the sixteenth century, comes from a fourteenth-century satirical romance about a horse named Fauvel. This horse was a symbol of cunning bestiality, and to curry (groom) it meant that one was enlisting its services of duplicity and other nasty traits. The English version of Fauvel at first was favel, which by the sixteenth century had been corrupted into “favor.”
See also: curry
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

curry favor

To ingratiate oneself through flattery or a willingness to please. “Curry” has nothing to do with the spice—it means to groom, as in the horse-keeping currycomb tool. One of the definitions of “stroke” is “suck up to,” and the image is similar—to get on a person's good side, whether or not flattery is warranted. “Favor” was originally “Fauvel,” the donkey who was the rogue hero of a 14th-century French romance. The image of grooming the beast to get on its good side or to win its favor is now the modern use of the word in the phrase.
See also: curry, favor
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
They could well have been trying to curry favor with the Israelis by attributing natural delays to a grand political ploy on their part.
"The capitalist cinema, which promotes a few 'popular stars' to curry favor with the audience ...
A recurring theme throughout Burning Down My Masters' House is that Blair knows how to curry favor with editors, so he gets plum assignments and his stories get good display in the paper.
Despite the $200 million the Bush campaign is raising from corporate America, despite the trillions the administration has showered on the donor class, despite all the contracts that didn't go out for bid to favored corporations like Halliburton, despite shaping one policy after another to curry favor with GOP donors--despite all this, the Bush campaign sits up nights fearing it will be outspent by Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley Braun.
(Machiavelli's other great work was the Discourses on the First Ten Books of the Histories of Titus Livy.) He dedicated The Prince to Lorenzo Medici in an attempt to curry favor with the restored ruler.
What is not clear, however, is whether these steps represent real progress on environmental issues or whether they are merely symbolic gestures made to curry favor on the international stage.
Massive ethanol subsidization is another political stratagem pushed by the White House and leading Midwest lawmakers, led by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), to curry favor with promoters of the corn-based additive.
Then there's the chancellor's latest budget, brazenly geared toward the Old Left in what Blairites view as an effort to curry favor among rank-and-file Labour Members of Parliament.
We don't have to curry favor with it,'' the veteran lawmaker said.
"Maybe he wants to curry favor with the homosexual and gay folks who were picketing 2398 Pacific [the apartment building in which Whipple lived with her partner, Sharon Smith] and demanding justice for Diane Whipple.
The unraveling of Enron Corp., once the nation's seventh-largest company, will appear in the annals of business infamy, not solely because the energy trading entity hid losses behind a string of limited partnerships involving company insiders and pumped millions into political campaigns to curry favor in Washington, D.C.
And non-Jewish politicians have used the Holocaust to curry favor with the numerically small but influential Jewish voters--note the solemn pronouncements of Presidents wearing yarmulkes to accentuate their anguished sympathy.
Despite a contract, Patten's book was axed to curry favor with the Chinese government.