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Sycʹophant

,

from the Greek sukophantēs, “fig-blabbers.” The men of Athens passed a law forbidding the exportation of figs; the law was little more than a dead letter, but there were always found mean fellows who, for their own private ends, impeached those who violated it; hence sycophant came to signify first a government toady, and then a toady generally.

“I here use ‘sycophantʹ in its original sense, as a wretch who flatters the prevailing party by informing against his neighbours, under pretence that they are exporters of prohibited figs.”—Coleridge: Biography, vol. iii. chap. x. p. 286.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Sword of God (The)
Sword of Rome (The)
Sword of the Spirit (The)
¶ Sword (phrases and proverbs)
Sword and Cloak Plays
Swords Prohibited
Sworn Brothers
Sworn at Highgate
Sybarite
Sycamore and Sycomore
Sycophant
Sycorax
Syenite
Syllogism
Sylphs
Sylvam Lignum Ferre (In)
Sylvester (St.)
Sylvius Bonus
Symbol
Symbols of Saints
Symbolism of Colours