I had a neighbor who, a few days before asking me to do a big favor for her, would perform "considerate" actions for me, like placing my morning paper by my front door, and asking me if I needed anything from the store while she went shopping.

She normally behaved towards me as if I were a tree. She thought she was being very artful and clever, but it was laughably transparent. Is there a word to describe someone like this?

  • A big phony, or transparent. Feb 1, 2017 at 19:55
  • Sycophant probably confers too much...continuity.
    – Bookeater
    Feb 1, 2017 at 22:16
  • 2
    I have a cat that acts that way around supper time.
    – rajah9
    Feb 1, 2017 at 23:21

2 Answers 2


She was, perhaps, trying to ingratiate herself [with you].

ingratiate verb

to make someone like you by praising or trying to please them:

  • He's always trying to ingratiate himself with his boss.

Cambridge Dictionary


You and your neighbor have a quid pro quo relationship (Latin: "this for that").


Quid pro quo ("something for something" or "this for that" in Latin) means an exchange of goods or services, where one transfer is contingent upon the other. English speakers often use the term to mean "a favour for a favour"; phrases with similar meaning include: "give and take", "tit for tat", and "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours".

Note that this word is not describing her, but rather describing her behavior. She is providing a favor in order to obtain a favor for herself.

My neighbor offered to wash my car. As our relationship is strictly quid pro quo, I'm suspecting that her DSL is out again and she needs my help.

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