play up to sb

to play up to sb (try to gain the favour with sb; curry favor with sb, flatter) — лебезить перед кем-л.; заискивать; пресмыкаться, подлизываться

Example 1: There's no use playing up to the boss; it doesn't influence him. (answers.com)

Example 2: It's no good making up to your influential brother, he won't help you. He doesn't welcome being made up to. — Бесполезно лебезить перед твоим влиятельным братцем: он не будет помогать тебе. Ему не нравится, когда перед ним пресмыкаются/заискивают.

see
[подлизываться]
[kiss up to sb]
shine up to sb;
suck up to sb;
lay it on (thick) with a trowel
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This expression originated about 1800 in the theater, where it meant "to support or assist another actor." Within a couple of decades it was being used in other venues. (answers.com)

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