Unfortunately, the origin of this example is a bit obscure, as no one knows for sure where it comes from. One story ties it to the word syko (σύκο — “fig”) and the verb phainein (φαίνειν — “to show”), back when stealing and exporting figs was considered a crime. People who informed on those breaking this particular law were called sycophants. Of course, the meaning of the word has changed a lot since then — it now gives name to insincere flatterers.
You can also read:The word ‘bibliophile’
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