Is there any specific term to describe a person who is a follower inherently because of his/her weak personality and in any discussion, debate or disagreement tries to find a leader or a majority to follow against someone with a different idea?

For example, one of my Persian friends via email described his friend using these words:

She doesn't follow her own rules and doesn't have any special idea about different matters even her own field study but tries to follow the majority or a leader even if that majority or the leader are wrong according to ideas of just experts who are not in the group and have no benefit to take one side and leave alone the opposite side. She wants to take advantages by this and becomes a popular face of the year in the community because unfortunately no body seems like her even after one year hard attempts in protecting the community! Such a pity!

We have sort of appropriate Persian terms equal to this description, but I couldn't find the best term in English for it. Could you please give me your best suggestions?

2 Answers 2


I would say there are at least three sets of words that would qualify.

People are sheep when they follow the herd of majority opinion or taste regardless of their own judgment or interest, being unwilling or unable to take an independent position. A related slang term is sheeple (combining sheep and people).

If they follow a single person or cause slavishly, with regard neither to wider opinion nor to their own reason, they are flunkies, minions, lackeys, pawns, or stooges.

If behaving sycophantically in order to improve their own social position, they are bootlickers, brown-nosers, apple-polishers, toadies, or butt-kissers as well.

  • It is interesting! I didn't know I can use sheep or butt-kisser in English as we have these terms in Persian and I doubted if I translate them from Persian to English may lose the meaning. What about ass-kisser? Is it rude? Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 22:27
  • 1
    @user37324 I would say ass-kisser or arse-kisser would qualify as mild profanity, and would be acceptable in the same situations where ass or arse can be used.
    – choster
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 22:38
  • +1 for sheep. .
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 22:42

It sounds like "easily led" would fit, or possibly something along the lines of "wants to fit in". The latter is flexible: anything from "likes to fit in" (which is neutral or a mild compliment) to "desperate to fit in at all costs" (which is not a compliment). Possibly "gullible" if the person is prone following persuasive people.

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