Green’s Dictionary of Slang

suck up v.

also suck

1. (also suck up to) to curry favour (with), to be obsequious (to), to grovel shamelessly (to) in return for favours, esteem etc; thus sucking up n.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 315: suck up ‘to suck up to a person,’ to insinuate oneself into his good graces.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Kipling ‘Slaves of the Lamp — Part I’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 57: That little swine Manders miner must have shown him your stuff. He’s always suckin’ up to King.
[UK]Magnet 15 Feb. 6: What are you sucking up to the new kid for, Nugent?
[UK]A. Lunn Harrovians 192: A boy is always an uncertain quality. He does not mind being ‘sucked up to’.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 292: Round he goes to Bob Doran that was standing Alf a half one sucking up for what he could get.
[US]A. Bessie Men in Battle 166: In all his political talks he favored the Spanish, ‘sucked up to them,’ the men would say.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 290: I could be a noncom now if I wanted to [...] suck the way Stanley does.
[US]F. Brown Dead Ringer 33: Sucking up to coppers won’t get you anything arround here.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 127: He was the Acting Unpaid Lance-Corporal sucking up to his immediate superior, for the sake of a stripe of tape.
[Ire]T. Murphy Whistle in the Dark Act II: You suck up to them, I fight them.
[US]Dundes & Schonhorn ‘Kansas University Sl.: A New Generation’ in AS XXXVIII:3 169: To curry favor with a professor: suck.
[US]J. Heller Good As Gold (1979) 340: Sophie and I had dinner at the White House once, you know. And we got there on my merits, not by sucking up to an anti-Semitt like Ralph.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 127: Sucking up to your betters [...] can only take you so far.
[UK]Guardian Weekend 14 Aug. 3: He sucks up to anyone famous.
[US]Week (US) 27 Apr. 12: Russia pretends to be rejecting the West, when it knows it needs to suck up instead.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 97: This shoddy little arsehole, a nothing, no talents, just a political creature who knew how to slime around, [...] how to suck up to those who could advance him.

2. to drink.

[US]J.E. Macdonnell Jim Brady 209: How about we suck a jug or two, eh?
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 1 Dec. in Proud Highway (1997) 33: I’m going out to look for someone to [...] suck up a few with me at a smoky grotto called ‘Trader John’s’.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 43: suck up (v.): Drink up; used in a gay bar for last call: ‘Suck up, everybody, motel time’.
[US]C. Loken Come Monday Morning 110: Hell if he was out hittin’ it las’ night chances are he’d be in there right now suckin’ up a few mornin’ taps.