Are you a brown noser?

Could you please tell me in what instances you would use this idiom: You are are a real brown noser!

Many thanks,

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Hi Torsten

I would use “brown nose” as a verb.
John got that promotion only because he brown-noses the boss like crazy.
If you want to get a raise, you’ll have to do a lot of brown-nosing.

The noun is ‘brown-noser’.
Most of the time, people probably wouldn’t call someone a brown-noser directly. The sentence would most likely occur in the third person:
He’s a real brown-noser.

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Torsten…you only use this term when you are really mad at the person and like Yankee said, you usually say this behind his back because he’d likely try to hurt you for saying it.

Of course you can use this phrase directly to a very close friend in a teasing way…I avoid this term whenever I could since it’s in my opinion politically incorrect. If you say this at work, someone might bring you up on charges of creating a hostile workplace environment.

As you know, when you call someone a brown-noser, you are saying that he’s kissing butts so deep and has got the brown stinky stuff stuck on his nose :)…not a pleasant term…

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Hi Amy,

Many thanks for your immediate response, it’s great to have the opportunity to “pick your brain”! Your comment about the third person makes perfect sense, this was the way I saw the phrase yesterday…

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Good morning Hank, (I take it that’s your name?)

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with me! This is vital information I can’t find in any ESL text book…

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Hi Torsten,
Hank is my name. There was a time (when internet was getting popular) I was into scuba diving big time so “diverhank” was coined --not very original :slight_smile: but the name stuck.

Pleased to meet you, Hank. So what about your diving activities, do you still put the scuba gear on sometimes?

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Pleased to meet you, also. The last time I went was 2 years ago…I should go soon or risk forgetting how :).

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Is the noun ‘brown-noser’ commonly used in British, South African and/or Australian/New Zealand English?


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