The word for today is…
kowtow (verb) – 1. To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China.
2. To show servile deference.
(noun) – 1. The act of kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground.
2. An obsequious act.
Source : The Free Dictionary
Etymology : Kowtow originated as a noun referring to the act of kneeling and touching one’s head to the ground as a salute or act of worship to a revered authority. In traditional China this ritual was performed by commoners making requests to the local magistrate, by the emperor to the shrine of Confucius, or by foreign representatives appearing before the emperor to establish trade relations. (In the late 18th century, some Western nations resisted performing the ritual, which acknowledged the Chinese emperor as the “son of heaven.”) The word kowtow derives from Chinese koutou, formed by combining the verb kou (“to knock”) with the noun tou (“head”).
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