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arse-licking British and Australian English Taboo

Meaning: saying nice things to someone in order to get something from them

For example:

  • Does he really think all his arse-licking will mean the CEO will give him the promotion?

  • Bosses say they don't like arse-licking, but I'm sure some of them quite enjoy being told how clever and wonderful they are.

Note: The equivalent slang in American English is "ass-kissing".

Warning! This is very bad language. If you are a non-native speaker, you are advised not to use it. (You could cause resentment or anger if you use it inappropriately.)

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

Someone who's arse-licking to get a promotion might say to their boss,
  1. "I'd really like to get a promotion."
  2. "I promise I'll work really hard in future."
  3. "This is the best-run company I've ever worked for."

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