Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Syc’ophant,

 Sycamore and Sycomore.Syc’orax. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Syc’ophant,
 
from the Greek sukophants, “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.   1
        “I here use ‘sycophant’ 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.
 


 Sycamore and Sycomore.Syc’orax. 

 
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