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To 'suck up'

Posted by James Briggs on May 24, 2001

We have a particularly hot spell here in the UK - upper 20sC, around 80F. This on top of all the electioneering going on!. Never-the-less, the politicking has thrown up a phrase on a regular basis when various politicians are accused of 'sucking up' to this or other faction. There's no good origin in any of my reference books, only analogies to 'bootlicking' etc. There seems nothing in the archive. Any idea of the origin, anyone? The phrase is quoted as' mid 19c'. so it's fairly old.