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This page is about the slang term arse-licking

British and Australian English taboo!!!


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.

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.)


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,

a. "I'd really like to get a promotion."

b. "I promise I'll work really hard in future."

c. "This is the best-run company I've ever worked for."

Slang of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey