curry favor


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

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 favour

ingratiate yourself with someone through obsequious behaviour.
Curry here means ‘groom a horse or other animal’ with a coarse brush or comb. The phrase is an early 16th-century alteration of the Middle English curry favel , Favel (or Fauvel ) being the name of a chestnut horse in an early 14th-century French romance who epitomized cunning and duplicity. From this ‘to groom Favel’ came to mean to use on him the cunning which he personified. It is unclear whether the bad reputation of chestnut horses existed before the French romance, but the idea is also found in 15th-century German in the phrase den fahlen hengst reiten (ride the chestnut horse) meaning ‘behave deceitfully’.
See also: curry, favour
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

curry ˈfavour (with somebody)

(British English) (American English curry ˈfavor (with somebody)) (disapproving) try to get somebody to like or support you by praising or helping them a lot: They have lowered taxes in an attempt to curry favour with the voters. Curry in this phrase means to groom (= clean and comb) a horse. The phrase was originally ‘curry favel’ (= a light brown horse that was thought to be clever and dishonest) and came to mean to try to please somebody who might be useful to you, especially by doing or saying things that you do not mean or believe.
See also: curry, favour
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the most intriguing sections of the book, in fact, is Stengel's discussion of how chimpanzees curry favor through the ritual behavior of grooming.
The otherwise pro-gay software giant, which has been the target of a high-profile antitrust suit, hired former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed as a lobbyist to help curry favor with the presumed Republican presidential nominee.
In a blatant attempt to curry favor with the integral S/M swing vote, party planners hired a self-described Indian satanist performance artist who had a pentagram carved in his back, got urinated on, and then had a bottle of Jack Daniels planted in his behind.
Seen by many as an attempt to curry favor with the public and banking regulators, the lending commitment is the largest ever made by a U.S.
There is nothing in the speech that was meant to ingratiate the Vice President to the business community or to make them like him-which is the meaning of the idiomatic expression "to curry favor."
It's all linked to Georgia: We have written about the possibility that Russia is refusing to sell Iran weapons to curry favor with the new Obama Administration.
Blessed are the publicly pious politicians for they shall curry favor with the voters.
Some cynics suspect that Bob Bennett leaked information unfavorable to client Bill Clinton in an effort to curry favor with journalists--most notably in Clinton's case, Bob Woodward.
Still others believed his heritage might curry favor from Japan in the form of aid and investment.
The former Tennessee governor and failed 1996 presidential candidate has worked hard to overcome his reputation as a moderate and to curry favor with religious conservatives.
Bush sent over a laudatory video to the RTV attendees, insisting that he and they "have common goals and a common faith." Leading Republicans in Congress came from Capitol Hill to curry favor and seek support in the next round of elections.
Males have learned to moderate their behavior to curry favor among females, who can just as easily turn to other females for companionship and erotic gratification.
He saw a golden opportunity: In one fell swoop, he could curry favor with the senior citizen vote and hold Nixon's feet to the fire.
Microsoft is currently embroiled in a costly anti-trust lawsuit and apparently hoped to curry favor with Bush in the event that he is elected president.
Advised that he needed to curry favor with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Arthur Vandenberg in order to win passage of the European Recovery Plan, Marshall balked.