Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


curry favour

curry favour meaning

  • seek to gain advantage by flattery
  • the act of praising someone so that some benefit or advantage can be gained
  • usually seen as overbearing courteousness or flattery to someone in the position of being able to influence

Example Sentences

  1. Her uncle is so rich that she feels compelled to curry favor with him lest she does not get mentioned in the will!
  2. The new hires in this work type are usually seen curry favouring with the bosses until they figure out that they cannot reduce the work burden at all.
  3. It is not a good idea to curry favour with a person who does not care to notice you otherwise.


The phrase is literally seen as a modern day translation of “to prepare a veiled lie”. It originates from the 1300’s through a French poet Gervais du Bus in his work titled “Roman de Fauvel”, translated as, Romance of Fauvel.

Fauvel was horse in the work who was ambitious and deceived leaders who were greedy. Fauvel is made up of faux and veil which means a false veil.

The word curry in this case is not from Indian food but is a twisted version of the verb “conraier” which means to prepare in French.

In 1530, the “Lesclarcissement de la langue françoyse” by John Palsgrave used the word curryfavell as someone who flatters. The exact phrase was first cited in literary work named “The mirrour of good manners” by Alexander Barclay in the year 1510.

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