Wednesday, May 2, 2012


kowtow\ KOU-TOU

1.To act in an obsequious manner; show servile deference.
2.To touch the forehead to the ground while kneeling, as an act of worship, reverence, apology, etc.,especially in former Chinese custom.

1.The act of kowtowing.

Didn't you want to know that? I love words, finding out word origins, where terms originally came from. For today's word, it originated from the Chinese practice of touching one's forehead to the ground when greeting someone. It is a sign of respect. Called k'o t'ou, it literally means "to knock the head."

When I was taking Aikido (briefly), before each fight you would kowtow to each other. Kneeling on the floor, hands crossed and flat in front of you, you'd bow to the person you wanted to practice with. Kind of interesting, hey?

It's one of those little traditional-type things that just begs to be put into a book!


  1. Ah-hah, finally a word I knew before your explanation, Cat! (What I didn't know is your Aikido experience ... How was it like?)

    1. It was fun. I enjoyed rolling a lot. The forward rolls are a-ma-zing! It was just a little too "peaceful" for me. LOL

  2. My two year old grandson and I have been practicing the Kowtow the last 3 weeks. I didn't know it had a name. :) When we go on walks we spent a lot of time looking at small ants so he can smash each one with his finger and then stomp on the ant holes(taking out the worship part).Love the new word.

    1. Glad you liked it, Covina. It's a great word, hey? It blasts off the tongue so well. :) KOW - TOW!

  3. I did not know this one. Thanks, Kat!


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