W4W: Why a lady should beware rabbits and flattery


Image: Pixabay


I’m pretty rubbish at flattery.

I enjoy dispensing compliments, don’t get me wrong. If I see a fellow human of the female persuasion and she looks particularly glorious, I’ll tell her so – spread the love about her fetching scarf / jacket combo. I don’t do this with men, though – no man wants a forty something woman telling him she likes the snug fit of his suit. That would be creepy.

There are times I have to remind myself to say something complimentary if it’s expected of me …

For instance, when my son was a baby, several people said we should take him to a modelling agency – the kid loved the camera and he photographed well. Is he good looking? Well, I’m his mother, so couldn’t possible give you an unbiased opinion on that one.

We never did take him to an agency – we found the idea of selling our baby’s looks a little distasteful – but when other parents said something along those lines (‘Ooh, he’s going to be a heartbreaker, isn’t he?’ ‘Watch out for that one when he gets older,’ etc) I’d feel under pressure to reciprocate.

The parent would fix me with a cool eye, as if to say,

Well, come on, then. Tell me mine’s gorgeous too.

Sometimes this was easier than others. A lot of babies are okay – some are adorable. And yet others are …

Jeez! Let’s hope you have a FANTASTIC sense of humour, kid.

And I’m a rubbish liar. Faced with a tasteless frock, a laughable hairdo – or a pig ugly baby – I’ll mumble something unconvincing, give a pale attempt at a smile and run away, claiming I’ve left the gas on or have to go shave my legs before a race of small mammals mistake my body hair for a cosy thicket.

I am no


According to the Dictionary of Regional American English, it means to ‘deceive by flattery’. Other variations include



and honeyfogle all of which are equally amazing.

The dictionary states it could be from the English


Now I knew coney was an old word for rabbit. But according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, connyfogle is a play on how similar coney sounds to an old word for female genitalia. The only meaning I can find for fogle on its own is an antiquated term for handkerchief (Fogle hunter being a pick pocket.)

But connyfogle  has nothing to do with lacy nose wipers (or for wiping any other part of the body, you’ll be relieved to learn) as it means

 “to deceive in order to win a woman’s sexual favors”.

Yeah. Never been any good at that one either.


With thanks to Kat, the originator of W4W