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Toadeater

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toadeater

A fawning, obsequious parasite; a mean sycophant; a flatterer; a toady. You had nearly imposed upon me, but you have lost your labour. You're too zealous a toadeater, and betray yourself. (Dickens)

Origin: Said to be so called in allusion to an old alleged practice among mountebanks' boys of eating toads (popularly supposed to be poisonous), in order that their masters might have an opportunity of pretending to effect a cure. The French equivalent expression is un avaleur de couleuvres. Cf. Toady.