The word “kowtow” refers to a traditional Chinese gesture of deep respect or submission, which involves kneeling and touching the ground with one’s forehead. It can also be used figuratively to describe excessive or obsequious deference to someone.

Interesting fact: The term “kowtow” originated from the Chinese word “koutou,” which means “knock the head.” This practice was historically performed in the presence of the Chinese emperor or other high-ranking officials as a sign of reverence and loyalty.