The idiom "fawn over" means to excessively flatter or show affection towards someone, often to gain favor. People use it to describe someone's behavior when they are trying to impress or win the approval of another person.
"Fawn over" is used to describe excessive flattery or affection shown towards someone, often with an ulterior motive.
The phrase "Fawn over" refers to the act of excessively flattering or showing affection towards someone, usually to gain favor or approval. It suggests an over-the-top, often insincere, display of admiration.
The phrase's origin is unclear but is believed to have originated in the 19th century. The word “fawn” comes from the Old English adjective fægen or fagan, meaning “glad,” by way of Old English fagnian, meaning “to rejoice.” In this phrase, “fawn” acts as a verb meaning “to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner.”
"I came here to perform my duty to my old general, not to flatter and fawn over the new Emperor!"
- Englishmen in India, William Dimond, 1840
Here are some examples of how "fawn over" might be used in various contexts:
You may encounter the phrase in various aspects of pop culture, from movies and TV shows to books and music.
Some notable examples include:
There are many other ways to describe someone excessively flattering or showing affection.
Here are a few alternatives to "fawn over":
"Fawn over" means to excessively flatter or show affection towards someone, often to gain favor or approval.
The term "fawn" comes from Old English "fagnian", which means to rejoice or be glad. It later evolved to describe a dog's behavior of wagging its tail to show affection or submission, similar to a young deer's behavior.
Yes, the phrase "fawn over" can be used in both formal and informal contexts. However, it's important to note that it often carries a negative connotation of insincerity or manipulation.
"Fawn over" is used in many English-speaking countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the US.
Although "fawn over" typically has a negative connotation, it can be used positively to describe genuine affection, as in: "On a side note, the grandparents fawned over their grandchild, whom they hadn't seen for a long time."
Yes, "fawn over" can be understood and used by people of all ages, though the underlying concept of insincere flattery might be complex for younger children.
Yes, similar phrases include "butter up", "suck up to", "brown-nose", and "grovel to".
Yes, "fawn over" can be effectively used in both formal and informal writing, such as in novels, articles, emails, or text messages.
Yes, "fawn over" often has a negative connotation as it suggests excessive or insincere flattery, often for personal gain.
For example, you could say, "At the party, John couldn't help but fawn over the popular singer, hoping to receive an autograph or a photo." "I refuse to fawn over him just because he's the boss."
"Fawn over" is a phrase indicating excessive flattery or affection towards someone, often with the intention of gaining their favor or approval. This idiom has its roots in Old English and is a testament to the richness and diversity of the English language.
Whether it's in a work of literature, a TV show, or a casual conversation, "fawn over" offers a colorful way to describe the dynamics of flattery and power.