Flattery

Flattery

Flattery (also called adulation or blandishment) is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject. Flattery often, but not always, connotes insincerity.

Historically, flattery has been used as a standard form of discourse when addressing a king or queen. In the Renaissance, it was a common practice among writers to flatter the reigning monarch, as Edmund Spenser flattered Queen Elizabeth I in "The Faerie Queene" and William Shakespeare flattered King James I in "Macbeth".

Flattery is also used in pick-up lines used to attempt to initiate romantic courtship.

Most associations with flattery, however, are negative. Flatterers are sometimes described by pejorative phrases, such as "suck-up", "ass-kisser", or "brown-noser". Negative descriptions of flattery range at least as far back in history as The Bible. In the Divine Comedy, Dante depicts flatterers wading in human excrement, stating that their words were the equivalent of excrement, in the 8th Circle of Hell.

An insincere flatterer is a stock character in many literary works. Examples include Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings", Goneril and Regan from "King Lear", and Iago from "Othello".

"To flatter" is also used to refer to artwork or clothing that makes the subject or wearer appear more attractive, as in:

:* The King was pleased with the portrait, as it was very flattering of his girth.:* I think I'll wear the green dress because it flatters my legs.

ee also

* Shakespeare's sonnets#Dedication to Mr. W.H.
* The Faerie Queene
* Flattering colors
* Cape Flattery, disambiguation page,
* Blarney Stone

External links

* [http://www.pickuplinesgalore.com A Large collection of Flattering Pickup Lines]
* [http://www.giga-usa.com/gigaweb1/quotes2/qutopflatteryx001.htm Quotes about flattery]
* [http://www.laughinglarry.com/chat-up-lines/menu.html Pick Up Lines / Chat Up Lines]


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flattery — Flat ter*y, n.; pl. {Flatteries}. [OE. flaterie, OF. flaterie, F. flaterie, fr. flater to flatter, F. flatter; of uncertain origin. See {Flatter}, v. t.] The act or practice of flattering; the act of pleasing by artful commendation or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flattery — (Cap F.), Vorgebirg an der Ostküste des Australischen Continents …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • flattery — index mention (tribute) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • flattery — (n.) early 14c., from O.Fr. flaterie, from flater (see FLATTER (Cf. flatter)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • flattery — adulation, *compliment Analogous words: blandishment, cajolery (see corresponding verbs at COAX): fawning, toadying, truckling (see FAWN vb): eulogy, panegyric, *encomium: homage, obeisance, deference (see HONOR) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • flattery — [n] false praise, compliments adulation, applause, approbation, blandishment, blarney*, bootlicking*, cajolery, commendation, encomium, eulogy, eyewash*, fawning*, flattering, flummery, fulsomeness, gallantry, gratification, hokum*, honeyed words …   New thesaurus

  • flattery — ► NOUN (pl. flatteries) ▪ excessive and insincere praise. ORIGIN Old French flaterie, from flater stroke, flatter …   English terms dictionary

  • flattery — [flat′ər ē] n. pl. flatteries [ME & OFr flaterie (Fr flatterie) < flater: see FLATTER1] 1. the act of flattering 2. excessive, untrue, or insincere praise; exaggerated compliment or attention …   English World dictionary

  • flattery — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ artificial VERB + FLATTERY ▪ use ▪ Salespeople are often accused of using artificial flattery. ▪ fall for ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • Flattery — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Flattery >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 flattery flattery adulation gloze Sgm: N 1 blandishment blandishment blandiloquence Sgm: N 1 cajolery cajolery Sgm: N 1 fawning fawning wheedling & …   English dictionary for students

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