Definition of bow and scrape in English:

bow and scrape


  • Behave in an obsequious way to someone in authority.

    ‘a jailer led them in, the fellow bowing and scraping as he recognized Sir John’
    • ‘But every time we do so, we have had to bow and scrape and beg and plead to please be allowed to do the right thing.’
    • ‘I was of one of the most noble families of the Roman Empire, yet this man inspired such a fear in me that I would bow and scrape to him.’
    • ‘A series of columns in the November 25 issue all exhibited an irrepressible need to bow and scrape before the Republican right.’
    • ‘Break it up, and let us staff it with people who care about what they do, and do not have to bow and scrape to a Government bureaucracy that inhibits them from being as constructive as they possibly can be.’
    • ‘At the same time, don't bow and scrape before the vulgar, even when they are proud and full of themselves.’
    • ‘You can bet on football and basketball with drug-dealing bookmakers as long as you bow and scrape and genuflect when called onto the commissioner's carpet.’
    • ‘How could a region that possessed such an incomparable language bow and scrape to States where people spoke the inferior Hindi?’
    • ‘The waiters will bow and scrape and tend to your every wish, for I will have pre-arranged this level of service with the manager.’
    • ‘So Russ flipped out and is in trouble for attacking some poor guy who was probably not in the mood to bow and scrape before the superstar.’
    • ‘He further remarked that Americans were fierce egalitarians who, despite differences of income and status, refused to bow and scrape before anybody.’
    • ‘The fact is that we are expected to bow and scrape to them simply because they were born with that name (or obtained it through marriage).’
    • ‘Just how long is a refugee supposed to bow and scrape?’
    • ‘Last month, I met him at another awards ceremony, and he got similarly royal treatment, with well-wishers and sycophants issuing forth to bow and scrape.’
    • ‘The idea that we should bow and scrape to such a family is obscene.’
    • ‘Don't call me Lord Peter, Charles, I refuse to allow a perfectly decent though rather dull man to bow and scrape to me!’
    • ‘A stubborn defender of his own beliefs, and commendably reluctant to bow and scrape at the altar of the Old Firm, he may have overstepped the mark this time.’
    • ‘The community are now having to bow and scrape, apologising and reasoning for what four freaks, four statistical anomalies, four twisted and tortured minds have done.’
    • ‘Just so long as we don't have to bow and scrape too much we'll do our bit to improve her day, just as she's done hers to improve all of mine.’
    • ‘People are expected to curtsey, bow and scrape before them.’
    • ‘Why is it American media types bow and scrape before Europeans as our obvious genetic masters?’