WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Lickspittle

Brown noser.
Kiss up.
Teacher’s pet.
Yes man.
Flunky.
Suck up.

Whatever their name, everyone can spot a sycophant a mile away.

Alfrid Lickspittle, Councillor to the Master of Lake Town.

Lickspittle (noun)

A parasite, or talebearer. Also lick-spittle, “sycophant, abject toady, one who will do any repulsive thing,” 1741, from lick + spittle. Phrase “lick the spittle” as a repulsive act is from 1640s. A person who behaves obsequiously to those in power.

Grima Wormtongue, chief advisor to King Théoden of Rohan as well as spy of Saruman.

Grima Wormtongue, chief advisor to King Théoden of Rohan as well as spy of Saruman.

I couldn’t decide who fit the term best: Alfrid Lickspittle of two installments of The Hobbit (The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies), or Grima Wormtongue of two episodes of The Lord of the Rings (The Two Towers and The Return of the King).

Choose for yourselves.

My money is on Wormtongue. Although I loved the sheer silliness and irredeemable character of his scenes, Alfrid’s part in the Hobbit movies was a bit too Jar Jar Binks for me.

 

Slang term definitions taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, the Online Etymological Dictionary, and Oxford Dictionaries.

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