Wednesday Words (9)

Each Wednesday I present to you a loveable word and what it means. These are words that look or sound pleasing. This week we make way for…


This is a very squelchy word, don’t you think? It was suggested to me by Emma Butcher. It seems to drip with oil as you say it. Not quite onomatopoetic but not far off as it is used to describe someone who is attentive and deferential to another person in a fawning, ingratiating manner. Imagine someone trying to gain favour with someone more important and powerful than them, agreeing with every word they say, shamelessly flattering them. It is pretty much always used in a critical manner now, although it wasn’t originally so. It is a 15th-century word from the Latin obsiqui , meaning ‘to follow’ or ‘to comply with’.