I was wondering if there was a word that describes when people prefer to be "in the right hand of the devil than in his path"? Most of us have experienced bullying ourselves or witnessed it, or even watch it on youtube clips. Sometimes you see the victims being ignored until they retaliate, and then teachers break up the fight and punish both. But no one payed attention before hand.

I've had toxic friends in the past that would rip on me in a public setting trying when trying to hang out, in a non-kidding way. I basically had to put a stop to it myself because no one else would.

I feel like the word is cowardice but that can be a little broad and generic. Was wondering if there was one for that one type of situation.


  • Please supply a sentence as you have requested a single word. Note that you have accepted an answer 9or 3) that apply to an a sentient agent, not an attitude / character flaw, which your 'cowardice' suggestion would almost mandate. Expressions for the practice have been given at ... going along with the crowd (jumping on the bandwagon; conforming ...). Feb 22, 2021 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


Such people are lapdogs, running-dogs, sidekicks.

lapdog = someone who is willing to do anything that a more important person tells them to do


running-dog = A servile follower or lackey.

Free Dictionary

sidekick = a person closely associated with another as a subordinate or partner

Merriam Webster

Of these three, I suggest that the first two are best because of the suggestion of complete canine subservience and obedience without any self-criticism.

  • All your suggestions refer to people who were always "on the side of the aggressor", but it seems to me OP is asking what to call those people who were previously either "friends" or simply "neutral", but who enthusiastically joined in the bullying once it started. Maybe not quite there, but fair-weather friend looks more promising to me. Feb 22, 2021 at 13:13
  • ...riffing off which I found a reference to sunshine bigots and fair-weather lynch mobs. Feb 22, 2021 at 13:17

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