What Does the Phrase “Curry Favor” Mean and Where Did the Saying For Seeking Gain Come From?

If you are trying to get on someone’s good side with insincere behavior, your actions are “currying favor” from that person.

Curry is a horse-grooming term for cleaning and rubbing down an animal.

Within this expression, favor was originally Favel, the name of the half-man, half-horse centaur in the fourteenth-century satire Le Roman de Fauvel.

Fauvel or Favel was very evil and cunning, and it was a good idea to get on the centaur’s good side.

You could do this by pampering or grooming or “currying Flavel.”