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a pet dog small and docile enough to be cuddled in the lap
(informal) a person who attaches himself to someone in admiration or infatuation

also lap-dog, 1640s, from lap (n.) + dog (n.); figurative sense of “subservient person” is by 1950.

Senator McCarthy (R-Wis) renewed his Communists-in-Government charges today and called Senator Tydings (D-Md) the Truman administration’s “whimpering lap dog.” [AP news story, Aug. 7, 1950]


A subservient person; eager sycophant: The leading Singapore newspaper, the Straits Times, enthusiastically fills the role of government lapdog/employee committees that labor leaders charge will be lapdogs of management (1980s+)


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  • Lapel

    [luh-pel] /ləˈpɛl/ noun 1. either of the two parts of a garment folded back on the chest, especially a continuation of a coat collar. /ləˈpɛl/ noun 1. the continuation of the turned or folded back collar on a suit coat, jacket, etc n. 1751 (implied in lapelled), from lap (n.) + -el, diminutive suffix. Cf. […]

  • Lapel-grabber

    noun A person who seizes and holds one’s attention by grasping one’s lapels, either actually or in effect: The style is the man; Hoving of the Met has always been a lapel-grabber/ Margaret Mead is the most famous of these lapel-grabbers (1980s+)

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