1. the posterior, the buttocks; thus fig. use, synon. with arse/ass, as oneself.
|Handl. Synne 5416: Þarfor shul þey [...] Go to helle, both top and tayle [OED].|
|The Frere and Boy (1836) lviii: When sche loked on her son Jake Weyteley her tayle spake And the weynd began to crake. [Ibid.] lxx: Than her tayle be weythe Lowd began to blow [...] The weyfe was fferd of a crake Nat on worde more sche spake.|
|Reeve’s Tale line 4161: Ne of his tayl bihinde he took no keep. His wyf bar him a burdon, a ful strong .|
|Agenst Garnesche v line 44: Yower lothesum lypps love well to kyse, Slaveryng lyke a slymy snayle I wolde ye had kyst hyr on the tayle!|
|Play of Weather in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 129: And if this tale be not likely / You shall lick my tail in the nock.|
|Erasmus’ Apophthegms (1564) Bk I 117: He shoulde after comming from the iakes, put his servaunt to the office of wyping his taile.(trans.)|
|Fifth Hundred of Epigrams (1867) 183: Why wype you your tayles?|
|Gammer Gurton’s Needle in (1997) III iii: Thou wert as good kiss my tail!|
|Two Gentlemen of Verona II iii: pant.: Why doest thou stop me mouth? launce.: For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue. pant.: Where should I lose my tongue? launce: In thy tale. pant.: In thy tail!|
|‘The Sea Crab’ in Gutter Life and Lang. (1988) 76: ‘Alas!’ quoth the good man, ‘that ever I came hither, / he has joyned my wiffes tayle & my nose together!’.|
|Gul’s Horne-booke in Old Bk Collector’s Misc. 48: You shall [...] do them great pleasure to ask what pamphlets and poems a man might think fittest to wipe his tail with.|
|Works (1869) II 39: And which of them sayes that I raue or raile, / Let him but pay, and bid me kisse his T.‘A Kicksey Winsey’|
|Beggar’s Bush III i: Then, if she mumble, / Or if her tail tumble, / Kiss her amain, boy, amain!|
|School of Complement II i: Come sit down, saving your tail sir, a Cushion.|
|Banquet of Jests 6: Dead is Dicke Dum below. / Would you the reason know: / Could his taile have but spoken, / His stout-heart had not broken.|
|Hesperides 291: Begin with a kisse, / Go on too with this [...] This play, be assur’d / Long enough has endur’d [...] For love he doth call For his Uptailes all; / And that’s the part to be acted.‘Up tailes all’|
|Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk I 50: Then I wiped my tail in the sheets, in the coverlet, in the curtains, with a cushion.(trans.)|
|Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 9: He was, in fine, the loud’st of Farters, / Yet could [...] Correct his Tail, and only blow / If there Occasion were, or so.|
|Purgatorium Hibernicum 22: De Tayl least toin breame puff behind / And vid a fart blow it from thee.|
|Love in a Wood III i: How can dey chuse but stink, since dey are so furieusmentè close to your Spanish Tail, da.|
|Maronides (1678) VI 55: To tell you truth, I know not which / Was heaviest, my head or breech: / For either head my tayl out-weigh’d, / Or else my tayl o’re-poiz’d my head.|
|Whipping Tom – Brought to Light 2: He meeting with a demure Crack or Miss of the Town [...] so swinged her Tail, that ’tis thought, she will not be capable of her Trade for some considerable time.|
|Teagueland Jests I 117: It did bite me by de Arshe [and] it has shet mine Tail on fire indeed.|
|A great & famous scoldling-match 4: You may wriggle your Tail among the Grandees [...] and so undermine their Fundamentals.|
|Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 241: My Tail prophetick Poems should excrete; / I’d rise Arse upwards, ev’ry Day by times.|
|Athenianism – Project IV 93: The Cracks will rave and think it much, If the new Sodomitish Crew Han’t a brisk Frisking Bout or two. Such Men, such Brutes, I should them call, Whose Tails are Sodomitical.‘The He-Strumpets’|
|‘Hesperi-Neso-Graphia’ in A. Carpenter Verse in Eng. in 18C Ireland (1998) 124: Trump itself, there seldom fails / To make old Women bob their Tails.|
|Penkethman’s Jests 11: Ay, do Child, says he, and I’ll fling TWO at your Tail.|
|Provoked Husband IV i: The Count tells me that there Lads and Lasses may jig their Tails, and eat, and drink, without grudging, all Night long.|
|Harlot’s Progress 61: He might have kiss’d her ev’ry Place, / Her tail he might have kiss’d, or kick’d it.|
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 178: Tuck’d her coats up, and bestrode / Her broomstick [...] And gallop’d bare-tail’d up to heaven.|
|Works (1794) I 209: Sooner shall fashion order frogs and snails, And dishclouts stick eternal to our tails!‘The Lousiad’|
|‘Connelly’s Ale’ in A. Carpenter Verse in Eng. in 18C Ireland (1998) 387: He has a daughter both comely and handsome. / You’d know by her eyes she had gig in her tail.|
|New London City Jester 36: As fine as it is, it hath kiss’s my tail for this once.|
|‘Jenny’s Bawbee’ Jovial Songster 106: She pinn’d the dish-clout to his tail, / And cool’d him wi’ a water-pail.|
|Satirist (London) 28 Aug. 165/2: Sir Roger G. will think with me, that all mankind would rail, / If you ever laid a hand unkind on my Marchioness’s tail.|
|Kentuckian in N.Y. I 67: I raised my tail like a blue-lick buck.|
|Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 8 Apr. 3/1: The new-married Mrs W—r says she cannot make head or tail of her husband. A Ropemaker with a ‘head’ would be a surprising animal indeed, but that he should lack a ‘tail’ would be more Ass-tounding still!|
|Sam Sly 24 Mar. 2/1: Miss A. W—n, of Green-bank, Wapping, not to shake her tail so much, or she may some day lose her bustle.|
|Paul Pry (London) 15 Aug. n.p.: To be seen alive [...] a rare specimen of English beauty, not to be equalled in all Europe. [...] This overgrown peacock answers to the name of Lizzy. Persons visiting are requested not to step on her tail, or else she may bite.|
|‘Sub-Umbra, or Sport among the She-Noodles’ Pearl 3 Sept. 3: We must whip such indecent ideas out of their tails!|
|‘Discovery of the Longitude’ Pearl 10 Apr. 16: What a length of tail, though the seas you roam, / Your spouses never fail, to bear you babes at home!|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Sept. 14/3: It was stated by a witness [...] that the defendant ‘said he had got a young woman with £2000 at her tail.’ ‘Bustles’ of this kind will not easily go out of fashion.|
|Crissie 119: ‘Where the devil should I be? [...] Not tied to your tail, I hope.’ ‘Not damned likely! I’ve too much respect for my ass to allow that!’.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 7 Jan. 4/7: The performers ‘sprang off their tails’ and cavorted round the blaze.|
|Sporting Times 3 June 1/4: Cabby’s final shot as the conductor goes towards Fleet Street [...]. ‘Well, thank the Lord, I don’t have to go through life tail foremost.’ Only he did not say tail.|
|Ulysses 301: Then see him of a Sunday with his little concubine of a wife, and she wagging her tail up the aisle of the chapel.|
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 83: He’d certainly boot her tail around the block until she couldn’t walk.Young Lonigan in|
|Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1986) 132: They also got these strutting, bad blood, tail-shaking nigger gals.|
|Sleep of Baby Filbertson and Other Stories (1964) 10: She could give up nursing and sit on her fat tail for life.‘Sleep of Baby Filbertson’ in|
|Limericks 91: There once was a harlot named Gail / Whose price was tattoed on her tail.|
|A House For Mr Biswas 112: Why you don’t wrap your little tail up and go to sleep?|
|Where Have All the Soldiers Gone 76: ‘[M]aybe you go home in one piece.’ ‘Or get his tail shot clear off’.|
|S.R.O. (1998) 347: ‘She hates your wino guts. And now you gonna risk your tail for her’.|
|Fantastic Four Annual 8: It’s no fun, when I can’t watch Bashful Benjy get knocked on his tail.|
|(con. 1964–73) Bloods (1985) 41: We was jumping out, and Davis got shot in the tail. He never paid it any mind.|
|Gay Sl. Dict. 🌐.|
|🎵 See bluffin might save ya tail one day.‘Something Good’|
|Deathdeal [ebook] ‘He [...] wanted to put it up me tail and bashed me when I said no’.|
|Sucked In 213: She departed along the [...] corridor, twitching her tail behind her.|
2. (also tale, tail-gap, -gate, -hole) the vagina; similarly used in homosexual contexts for the anus; cit. 1719 is double entendre.
|Piers Plowman (B) III line 131: For she is tikel of hire tail, talewis of tongie, As commune as the cartwey to knaves and to alle.|
|Wife of Bath’s Prologue line 464: After wyn, pon Venus moste I thinke: For al so siker as cold engendreth hayl, A likerous mouth mose han a likerous tayl.|
|‘Trial of Joseph and Mary’ Coventry Mysteries (1841) 134: Suche a yonge damesel of bewte bryght, And of schap so comely also, Of hire tayle oftetyme be lyght.|
|Bowge of Courte line 369: ‘What, reuell route!’ quod he, and gan to rayle How ofte he hadde hit Ienet on the tayle. Of Felyce fetewse and liytell prety Cate, How ofte he knocked at her klycked [sic] gate.|
|Cocke Lorelles Bote Ciii: Many whyte nonnes with whyte vayles, That was full wanton of theyr tayles.|
|Play of Weather in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 110: The wind is so weak it stirreth not our stones, / Nor scantly can shatter the shitten sail / That hangeth shattering at a woman’s tail.|
|‘Dialogue Btwn the Common Secretary & Jealousy’ in Old Bk Collector’s Misc. I 15: She that is fair, lusty and young, / And can commune in terms with defiled tongue, / And will abide whispering in the ear, / Think ye her tail is not light of the sear.|
|Autobiog. 26: A Mans honesty and Kredit doth depend and ly in hiz wyvs tayll.|
|Gesta Grayorum in Progresses and Processions of Queen Elizabeth (1823) III 335: If lusty Doll, mayde of the dary / Chance to be blew-nipte by the Fayry, / For making butter with her tayle; / I’le give her that did never fayle.|
|Letting of Humours Blood 21: This Angell [a prostitute] is not noted by her winges, But by her tayle, all full of prickes and stinges.|
|Devil is an Ass II i: Commend my service to my lady Tailbush.|
|ballad in(1969) 136: Foulgam will appeal / From Cupid, as men gather, / For in her wandering tail / Hath been her holy father.|
|Works (1869) III 30: Hold Sir (quoth she) my word I will not faile, / For you shall feele my hand, and kisse my T.‘Sculler’ in|
|Nights Search I 87: Now if her taile were seene, she’d paint that too.|
|Pleasant Notes III ii 76: Stirr’d up by the Marshall sounds and loud claps of her taile, passive and active.|
|Wandring Whore I 7: One of the maddest tricks, that I ever saw acted, was [...] upon a handsom neat Clean skin’d Girl that was terribly pepper’d with herds of Crabblice (as visible in her tayl as Cloves in a gammon of Bacon).|
|Nugae Venales 303: Q. Who is a fearful Woman? A. She who claps her Tail between her Legs.|
|‘The Maiden’s Answer’ in Bagford Ballads (1878) II 536: When wantons play not with their tails, / And Pocky whores shall all be sound.|
|Writings (1704) 2: Where dames, whose pretty Eyes would pierce ye, / Will turn up tails, for God have Mercy; / And think no greater Obligation, / Than the sweet tie of Copulation.‘The Poet’s Ramble after Riches’|
|Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 101: Here sits a holy sister, full of spiritual pride in her face, the word of God in her hands, the parson in her eye, and the devil in her tail.|
|Lucky Spence’s Last Advice [ballad] Ye’r face will not be worth a Feg, nor yet ye’r Tail.|
|in Pills to Purge Melancholy III 125: O’er your Wives, and your Daughters, / He often prevails; / By sticking a Cog, of a Foot, / In their Tails.|
|Bog-house Misc. 22: Jenny [...] Turns up her Eyes, and rails at naughty Folks; / But in a private Room, turns up her lech’rous Tail.|
|Delightful Adventures of Honest John Cole 22: Let her brisk up her Tail / When he handles his Flail.|
|Poems (1752) 109: Porters and Carmen shall invade, / Henceforth, thy stinking Tail.‘To One [...] Turned Prostitute’|
|Choice Spirits Museum 45: There Susan and Kitty shall cease to bewail, The woful Effects of Diseases intail.|
|New London Spy 22: A wanton or mercenary female [...] in quest of a sturdy or wealthy gallant, to gratify the desires of her tail, or supply the wants of her pocket.|
|Songs Comic and Satyrical 55: The end of conjunction ’twixt mistress and male, / Tho’ the Head may design, has its end in the Tail.‘The End’|
|Works (1842) 352: Her wanton tail sae ready – / I learned a sang in Annandale / Nine inch will please a lady.‘Come Rede Me, Dame’ in|
|‘Will Ye Na, Can Ye Na, Let Me Be’ in Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 260: I wad sell the hair frae off my tail.|
|‘Tale Of A Shift’ Cuckold’s Nest 34: He got my mistress in the barn, / And pitched her such a decent yarn, / That he soon got into the tail of marm.|
|‘She Sleeps With A Tall Grenadier’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 24: For no grenadier I will swear, / Ever came near to my tail.|
|Wkly Rake (NY) 9 July n.p.: ‘The literature of our native land; may the Tales of our country forever florish!’.|
|Peeping Tom (London) 2 8/2: A gentleman, speaking of Kitty Fisher, the late famous courtezan, who had always abundance of fine clothes, said, she was like a squirrel, for she covered her back with her tail.|
|My Secret Life (1966) I 145: I got bolder [...] and must have had a dozen girls at a shilling a tail.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: the female pudendum [...] tail-gap, tail-gate, tail-hole .|
|Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 86: Cul, m. [...] 2. The female pudendum; ‘the tail.’.|
|Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 33: Who’s wife as been playing with her tail?|
|in Limerick (1953) 280: He spent his vacation / In self-masturbation / Because of the high price of tail.|
|in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 119: I met old Moll Roe in the mornin’, / Her tail was all drabbled in dew, / I throwed my prick over my shoulder / An’ my ballyx says how-do-ye-do?|
|Roofs of Paris (1983) 66: She’s just the kind of cunt I would go looking for if I had an itch for some Latin tail.|
|Battle Cry (1964) 56: Put on your old red bustle / Get your tail out and hustle.|
|Syndicate (1998) 78: That crazy rat’ll go after the tail before he eats!|
|Big Easy 159: We don’t care if yew want to knock off a little black tail, Dude – git yew a little poontang.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 150: Many of the same expressions are used for females [...] and for the female genitalia (pussy, cock, tail), and for the act of sexual intercourse (to get some pussy/cock/tail).|
|Limericks Down Under 46: Making free with her tail / To the young bloods of Sale.|
|Rumble Tumble 24: The two of us merchandised more tail than Maude had sold in her lifetime.|
|Chopper 4 166: I’d [...] bang the tail off every dirty girl I could get my hands on.|
|Rolling Stone 14 Oct. 🌐 A tail-chasing, sewer-mouthed septuagenarian New Yorker was accepting the nomination of the Family Values Party.|
3. (also tail-pike, -pin, -tackle, -trimmer) the penis.
|Play of Weather in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 103: My new head shall give my old tail a glister.|
|Four P.P. in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 37: The trimming and pinning up their gear; Specially their fiddling with the tail-pin.|
|Virgidemiarum (1599) Bk IV 68: The maydens mocke, and call him withered leeke, That with a greene tayle hath an hoary head, And now he would, and now he cannot wed.|
|Othello III i: clo.: Are these [...] wind-instruments? 1st muse.: Ay, marry, are they, sir. clo.: O! thereby hangs a tail. 1st muse.: Whereby hangs a tale, sir? clo.: Marry, sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know.|
|Alchemist II vi: We’ll e’en draw lots, and he, that fails, shall have / The more in goods, the other has in tail.|
|Parson’s Wedding (1664) V iv: Who would choose such weazels as we see daily marry’d? that are all head and Tail, crooked, dirty, Sold Vermin, predestin’d for Cuckolds, painted Snails, with houses on their backs, and horns as big as Dutch cows; would any woman marry such?|
|Mercurius Fumigosus 25 15–22 Nov. 215: So made them wait upon Proud Venus Tayle / Till Smugg was ready for to put in Bayle.|
|‘The Rump serv’d in with a Grand Sallet’ Rump Poems and Songs (1662) II 120: A Tail which was eaten up almost of the Pox.|
|Works (1999) 42: Is it just? that with death cruell Love should conspire, / And our Tayles be burnt by our hearts taking fire?(1680) ‘Lampoone’ in|
|‘Satire on Whigs & Tories’ in Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 123: In reverend pulpit laid their nasty tails, / Profaned the altar, in the font did spew.|
|London Spy X 236: I fear his Tails so much his master, / ’T has brought him under some Disaster.|
|Humours of a Coffee-House 10 Sept. 23: How like a Jack a napes a Man must look that has lost his Tail?|
|‘Prophecy of the Mohocks’ Misc. III (1751) 231: It is not a sporting Tail, but a fiery Tail, even as the Tail of an Harlot.|
|‘The Turnep Ground’ in Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 224: I Satisfied in the hole, / And Just by Tayl She found it.|
|‘The Martin and the Oyster’ in 18C Collections Online n.p.: [He] flung the Oyster on its Back, / And using both his Tail and Tongue, / He almost made it crack. / But the Oyster clos’d so fast, / He could not pass the Fort.|
|Teague-Root Display’d cover: Paddy Strong-Cock, Fellow of Drury-lane [...] He moveth his Tail like a Cedar, and his Strength lyeth in the Navel of his Belly.|
|Nancy Dawson’s Jests 3: Why is lord A—n like a Shrimp? [...] because, madam his head and tail are good for nothing.|
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 103: We are all mortal men and frail, / And oft are guided by the tail.|
|Belle’s Stratagem 29: Hardy: They are very pretty creatures — they have such neat little short tails! Letitia: Short tails! — I don’t at all admire short tails!. Flutter: My dear Letty, short tails are quite the ton amongst the men of fashion! [...] Letitia: But, My Lord, do any one of the Ladies of Fashion admire them?|
|Bacchanalian Mag. 74: Original and selected Toasts and Sentiments [...] The Eye that weeps most at a moving tale.|
|‘The Priest Of The Parish’ Regular Thing, and No Mistake 73: And then what a laugh will be ’mong the parishioners, / Father Mac Shee has no tail to his a--se.|
|‘The Maid & The Fishmonger’ Cuckold’s Nest 2: I’ve a comical tale for a comical song. / To the ladies I give it, I’ll tell you for why, / I know they’re all fond of a tail on the sly.|
|‘Toasts & Sentiments’ Nobby Songster 48: The maid who love a good stiff tail.|
|Peeping Tom (London) 15 60/3: We cannot, on any account insert uncompleted articles. In this respect we are as fastidious as a young bride. We must have the remainer of your tale [sic] before we can use the fore-part.|
|My Secret Life (1966) VII 1455: Every woman is immodest enough to show her own tail, and feel a man’s tail at times.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: penis [...] tail-pike, tail-pin, tail-pipe, tail-trimmer, tail-tree or tail-tackle.|
|Town-Bull 6: I developed manly qualities, which my kind lady-friends vow they have never seen equalled [...] I therefore write you ’A Tale of my Tail’.|
|Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 235: May the lightening twist your balls off ... may you swallow your own crooked tail and strangle yourself.|
|in Limerick (1953) 125: There was a young man with the itch / Who, because he was not at all rich, / Had to harbor his tail / In any female — / A duck or a sow or a bitch.|
|Rationale of the Dirty Joke (1972) I 134: The identification of the penis as a tail is common in most Romance languages (Latin cauda, French queue).|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 380: tail. [...] the human anterior, i.e., the pudendum, whether female or male.|
4. (UK Und., also tale) a sword; thus tail-drawer [the way it projects beyond the wearer’s body].
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Tayle c. a Sword [...] He drew the Cull’s Tayle rumly, c. he whipt away the Gentleman’s Sword cleverly.|
|Regulator 20: A Tale, alias Sword.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|Account of the Malefactors executed at Tyburn 18th March 1740 part II 7: These, with the Money they had got, and 2 Tales (or Swords) amounted to 30 Ridges a Piece.|
|Discoveries (1774) 43: A Tail and Bleedar; a Sword and Hanger.|
|Bloody Register III 171: [as cit. 1741].|
|(con. 1710–25) Tyburn Chronicle II in (1999) xxix: A Tail A Sword.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: tail a sword.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|New and Improved Flash Dict.|
5. a prostitute.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|list of US Army Sl. 1870s–1880s [compiled by R. Bunting, San Diego CA, 2001] Tail A prostitute.|
|Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 8: Tail ... A Prostitute.|
|Tropic of Cancer (1963) 154: We have the privilege of associating with the whores and pimps [...] This arrangement suits the guys upstairs to a T, because they’re always on the lookout for tail.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 323: tail peddler A prostitute.|
|DAUL 217/1: Tail, n. [...] 2. (Collectively) Loose women.et al.|
6. a bustle.
|N.Z. Observer and Free Lance (Auckland) 20 Mar. 23/2: She mustn’t bang her hair in front . / And she mustn’t wear a tail / [...] / She mustn’t think of bonnets, / Nor shawls, nor such like trash.|
7. used of one or more women viewed collectively and as sex objects; thus piece of tail under piece n.
|(con. 1917–19) USA (1966) 633: You’re a young fellow, do you ever have plenty of tail?Nineteen Nineteen in|
|Brother Man (1966) 79: Weren’t men always like that [...] ‘chasin’ new tail all de time.’.|
|All Night Stand 85: ‘Yeah, whereza tail? Alla pussy?’ says his friend.|
|Requiem in Utopia 162: ‘Love is the opium of the proletariat? [...] Steady tail is for the common people?’.|
|Rough Riders 64: She [...] [l]ets me know if there’s any new tail in the area.|
|Bad Boy Boogie [ebook] ‘Sniiffing after that high-class tail’.|
8. sexual intercourse.
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 52: Oh, the women get no tail / For their husbands are in jail.|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 643: It was only natural for a guy to want some tail when he didn’t have anything to do, and he was natural.Judgement Day in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 188: I asked for tail and I gave her a quarter, / And she says, ‘Young man, I’m a minister’s daughter.’.|
|America’s Homosexual Underground 138: I’ve had more tail than all of them put together.|
|Signs of Crime 204: Tail Sexual intercourse in a general sense.|
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 tail, tail (get some... ) [...] to have sexual relations.|
|Palo Alto (2011) 11: ‘[He’s] out with the guys, I guess.’ ‘Chasing tail, no doubt’.|
9. young boys suitable for homosexual relationships.
|Sex Variants.‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry|
10. (UK und.) a bus queue.
|Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 2: Bus tail: Bus queue.|
11. (gay) as camp play on sense 2, the anus.
|Anecdota Americana II 97: A stands for Anus / The invert’s delight; / [...] / All joys, say the homos / Seem flaccid and stale / Compared to the thrill of / Their own brand of ‘tail.’.|
12. in senses of surveillance.
(a) (orig. US) an act of surveillance, esp. when following the target in the street; thus the individual(s) who carry out such surveillance.
|N.Y. Times 31 Jan. 27/6–7: If a ‘tail’ should be put on John Smith, that term would convey to a detective the idea that a string of detectives, as many as a half dozen perhaps, have been put on his tracks.|
|Vocab. Criminal Sl. 83: tail [...] To trail; to follow. Used as a noun in the same sense.|
|Broadway Racketeers 182: Every harness dick in the precinct was next to the racket and every time the fence hauled away a load he imagined he was getting a tail from the Burns men, the ‘Eyes’ and a half dozen headquarters dicks.|
|Rough Stuff 106: Why the hell didn’t you keep the tail on me? [...] I had that sucker in many a good spot but I couldn’t handle him by myself (throw a sleeve on him).|
|‘Saint in Silver’ in Goulart (1967) 98: They had a tail on her.|
|Corruption City 64: I want a tail on him twenty-four hours a day.|
|Day I Died 182: ‘You’re an expert leech.’ ‘A what?’ ‘A tail.’.|
|Panic in Needle Park (1971) 161: That guy hasn’t been without a tail, I mean a narco tail, in [...] nine months.|
|Shaft 11: There were three honeycomb buildings [...] that he could get in and out of fast, ducking a tail.|
|(con. WWII) Hollywoodland (1981) 147: FBI guys got such a tight tail on him they can tell you how many times a day he goes to the bathroom.|
|Wiseguy (2001) 186: Effortlessly slipping their tails whenever they wished by making unexpected U-turns on busy streets.|
|Alice in La-La Land (1999) 66: He was thought to be as good at stakeout and running a tail as anyone in the business.|
|Trainspotting 340: It was more than possible that the D.S. had stuck a tail on them.|
|Outlaws (ms.) 145: All kinds of glare on YT, no end of Q&A and that — and they would have deffo had a tail on us.|
|Right As Rain 17: The day I lose a tail, Derek, because I been drinkin’ an Americano —.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 158: Billy had spotted Bartosz’s tail to the house in Queens and was sure the big man was there to do some damage.|
|Viva La Madness 71: He had to lose a tail every morning before he could go to work.|
|Whiplash River [ebook] Shake had spent most of his professional life making sure he didn’t have a tail.|
|Old Scores [ebook] At some point during the day Mostel had made the tail.|
|Shore Leave 172: Swann assumed that Gooch had dropped the tail, but now when he looked in his rear-vision mirror Gooch was there.|
(b) (US prison) an infomer.
|Bounty of Texas (1990) 216: tail, n. – an informer.‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy|
13. (drugs) the long-term effect of a drug, as opposed to the initial rush n. (4a)
|Candy 79: It was a good rush [...] But that’s all it was, all rush and no tail, and you wanted it all the time (I mean all the time, every two minutes).|
14. (US prison) parole.
|Onion Field 72: He [a prison inmate about to be released] was dragging a tail the next morning—five years—a long tail.|
|Prison Sl. 101: Tail A term meaning parole. [...] A tail may be referred to as strict, supervised, unsupervised or obligatory.|
(US) the buttocks; the coccyx.
|The Same Old Grind 140: [He] fell to the floor centre stage on his brittle old tailbone [...] Otto lay with his coccyx broken.|
|(con. 1908) Schoolboy, Cowboy, Mexican Spy 9: I’ll peel your hide off your tailbone both ways.|
|In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 149: Oh, dear, my tailbone does hurt from so much sittin’.|
|Six Out Seven (1994) 207: Found yourself someplace where you don’t know your head from your tailbone, huh?|
|What Fire Cannot Burn 208: She was still emotionally myopic, was still putting her foot to tailbones.|
|ThugLit Apr. [ebook] [T]he toe of a boot found his tailbone.‘One More Day Can’t Hurt’ in|
(UK Und.) a thief who specializes in the picking of coat pockets.
|Bell’s New Wkly Messenger 9 Mar. 6/2: The buzzer, or gentleman’s pickpocket, is either the stook buzzer [...] purloiner of pocket handkerchieves, or the tail-buzzer, seeking [...] sneezers (snuff boxes, or skins and dummies (purses and pocket books).|
|N.Y. Morning Express 4/2: James Anderson, a ‘tail diver,’ [...] was caught in the act of stealing the gold watch and chain from a gentleman’s pocket.|
|Vocabulum 89: tail-diver A thief who steals pocket-handkerchiefs from coat-tail pockets.|
|London Labour and London Poor IV 25: those who plunder by manual dexterity, by stealth, or by breach of trust [...] ‘Tail-Buzzers,’ those who dive into coat-pockets for sneezers (snuff-boxes,) skins and dummies (purses and pocket-books).|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 55/2: Soon he and the eldest of the two commenced partnership in the ‘stook-buzzing’ line, and from that to ‘tail-dipping’ for a ‘skin or dummy’ until eventually Tommy Ginivan became [...] the cleverest ‘tail-dip’ in the West-end.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 8: Tail Buzzers - Those who pick coat-pockets for ‘sneezers,’‘skins,’ and ‘dummies’.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 84: Tail Buzzer, a thief who picks coat pockets.|
|Argus (Melbourne) 20 Sept. 6/4: A pickpocket is [...] a hook, a wire, a cly faker, a diver, a fogle hunter, a tail buzzer, when he operates on a fashionable crowd in frock coats, a moll buzzer when he steals from women.|
(UK Und.) stealing a wallet from a tailcoat pocket; also attrib.
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 60/1: In the good old time, when Westminster turned out the cleverest ‘tail-buzzing mob’ of the day.|
|Autobiog. of a Gipsey 414: I used to prac-tize wipe-hauling, tail-buzzing, and thimble-twisting.|
(US) a womanizer.
|I, Mobster 58: Not calling then a bunch of goddamned tail chasers, the way I felt like doing.|
|letter 21 Apr. in Leader (2000) 274: A poor old tail-chaser who now sees the thirtieth annniversary of his breeding falling away behind him.|
|(con. 1949) True Confessions (1979) 109: She’d crap her pants, she knew he was a tail-chaser.|
(UK Und.) a thief who steals gentlemen’s swords from their sides; thus tail-drawing n., such an act.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p. : Tayle-drawers c. Sword-stealers.|
|Hell Upon Earth 3: Some are very ingenious at Tail-drawing; which is, taking a Gentleman’s Sword from his Side at the turning of a Corner, or in a Crowd.|
|Memoirs (1714) 5: Tail-Drawers, Such as take Gentlemens Swords from their Sides at the turning of a Corner, or in a Crowd.|
|Lives of Most Noted Highway-men, etc. I 52: Tail-drawing, which is privately taking a Sword from a Gentleman’s Side, either in a Crowd, or as he walks along the Streets at Night.|
|Regulator 20: A Tale, alias Sword [...] Tale-Drawer, one that takes a Sword from a Man’s side.|
|New Canting Dict. n.p.: tayle-drawers Sword-stealers.|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].|
|(con. 1710–25) Tyburn Chronicle II in (1999) xxviii: A Tail Drawer He that steals a man’s Sword from his Side.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Tayle drawers, Thieves who snatch gentlemens swords from their sides. He drew the cull’s tayle rumly; he snatched away the gentleman’s sword cleverly.|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].|
|(con. mid-18C) Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous 83: I never shoved the tumbler for tail-drawing or poll-snatching on a levee-day.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: tail-feathers = pubic hair.|
see bum-fodder under bum n.1
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: tail-fruit = children.|
see sense 4 above.
(US) a male homosexual.
|(con. 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 180: ‘The guy’s after your ass, Muskrat!’ ‘What? You’re nuts. He’s a tail gunner. Seventy missions or more.’ ‘He’s a tail gunner [...] He’s as queer as a nine-dollar bill.’.|
|(con. 1970s) King Suckerman (1998) 19: Angled mirrors in the johns so the tail-gunners could check out your equipment.|
|Plainclothes Naked (2002) 211: To get by, Mac had to kind of shimmy over Tony’s lap — ‘I ain’t no tail gunner, dark meat, so keep movin’!’.|
see sense 4 above.
an act of following, surveillance.
|Big Sleep 55: I leaned in and showed him a dollar: ‘Tail job?’.|
|Playback 20: I had a little difficulty with my driver about the tail job.|
|Mute Witness (1997) 65: It’s a tail-job, Stan. I’ll point her out.|
|Soul Circus 259: The road had stop lights but was straight and heavily trafficked, the easiest kind of tail job.|
|(con. 1960s) Blood’s a Rover 26: He threw Phil, a tail job. Phil drove off, half-blitzed.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: tail-juice = urine.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: tail-juice = the semen.|
(US campus) a womanizer, a sexual athlete.
|Swell’s Night Guide 74: A vast assortment and variety of tail pieces of all sizes and complextion from the flash mots of Dover-street, [...] and the drabs of Windmill-street, lashers of Cornwall-road.|
|Peeping Tom (London) 42 172/3: french prints highly coloured [...] tail pieces Eight Racy Plates, 3s. 6d.|
see sense 2 above.
(US Und.) a side pocket.
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 48: Special names are given to the pockets such as left or right breech (front trouser pocket), left or right prat (hip pocket), tail pit (side pocket), fob (under the belt), and insider (inside coat pocket).|
one who administers a beating, e.g. a schoolmaster.
|Peeping Tom (London) 27 108/2: Dr Valpy was not the most severe tail-switcher to be met with.|
see sense 2 above.
(UK society) an afternoon tea attended by aristocratic ladies who had already been at the day’s ‘royal drawing room’ (Queen Victoria’s formal receptions) where trains were a part of formal dress.
|(ref. to 1880–1901) in Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 80/1: a wanton [...] tail-trader.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: tail-trading = prostitution.|
|‘John Anderson, My Jo’ in Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) III 271: John Anderson, my jo, John, / When first that ye began, / Ye had as good a tail-tree / As ony ither man.|
|‘John Anderson, My Jo’ in Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 142: When first that ye began, / Ye had as good a tail-tree / As ony ither man.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
see sense 2 above.
|DSUE (8th edn) 1194/2: before late C17.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: tail-water = urine.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/1: a wanton [...] tail-worker.|
(Aus.) to sodomize.
|Chocolate Frog (glossary).|
a young woman, the vagina, thus sexual intercourse.
|Twenty Below Act I: Fancy a bit of tail, Doc?|
|DSUE (8th edn).|
(W.I.) to leave, to run off.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
see chew (on) someone’s ass under chew v.
to preserve one’s own security during any form of controversy.
|All the Colours 317: [E]ven Spence was on the back foot, though he covered his tail with the usual aplomb.|
(US) to run away.
|‘Southeast Asian Crisis: Reds Do Not Retaliate’ From the Archives (1940–1979) 12 Aug. on Facts On File 🌐 It is not our purpose to escalate the war, but if events require more vigorous response, I believe our nation has the will to use that power. There is much more danger to cut tail and run.|
|BBC.co.uk 25 Oct. 🌐 Mayor Giuliani expressed his gratitude to Mr Gates for keeping his faith in New York at a time when many of its financial-services firms are cutting tail and leaving town.|
1. (US) to mope around, to look miserable.
|Christ in Concrete 18: Goddammit, Geremio, if you’re givin’ the men two hours off today with pay why the hell are they draggin’ their tails?|
2. to move.
|Teen-Age Mafia 54: Now we gotta drag our tails out of here.|
see get one’s ass in a crack under ass n.
(Aus.) to lose one’s temper.
|Queensland Figaro and Punch (Brisbane) 15 May. 27/1: Even Judges of the Circuit Court can get on their ‘tails,’ and, metaphorically, haul the hair off their wigs.|
|Australasian (Melbourne) 1 Oct. 42/1: I’m blessed if I didn’t get properly on my tail, an’ takin’ the gun [...] runs out and bangs away as fast as I could load her, at the scrub, where I reckoned them blasted fowls was a-roostin’.|
|Western Mail (Perth) 21 July 67/4: ‘I knew it would take something better than a Frenchman to stop you, once you got properly on your tail’.|
|Teleg. (Brisbane) 12 Oct. 11/2: The City Council might get on their tails, and say, ‘We will he as independent as the association’.|
|Inverell Times (NSW) 21 Apr. 2/3: They ‘get on their tails’ and say, ‘Do what you like’.|
see get (on) someone’s ass under ass n.
of a woman, to have sexual intercourse.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
(US) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 240: get some [...] tail Engage In sexual intercourse.|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 380: The act of intercourse with the object, to get some tail.|
|Palm Beach Post (FL) 27 July 149/3: Get Some Tail. The sooner you get here, the sooner you ‘Get Some Tail’ [...] was a glaring dirty joke in the form of a half page ad.|
|Gazette (Montreal) 29 July 27/6: ‘What do they [i.e. bisexuals] do? Flip a coin. “Heads I’ll get some tail. Tails, I’ll get some...”’.|
|Post-Star (Glen Falls, NY) 1 Sept. 7/3: ‘Get some tail tonight’ was supposed to be a humorous slogan for Red Tail Ale.|
|Nat. Post (Toronto) 22 Feb. 28/1: The Oscar-winning documentary [...] follows two penguins [...] as they make a long trek to get some tail.|
of a man, to have sexual intercourse.
|Amatory Ink 🌐.|
of a man, to have sexual intercourse.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 85: Croquer. To copulate; ‘to go tail-twitching.’.|
|Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden 23: Take out that bald-headed hermit! [...] Wollop it in! What’s the nanny-goat for, you pimp, if you can’t go tail-twitching her hairy old tuzzy-muzzy?|
of a woman, to be venereally diseased.
|Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 251: It is as hard a matter for a pretty woman to keep herself honest in a theatre, as it is for an apothecary to keep his treacle from flies in hot weather [...] and when once she has had a maggot in her tail, all the pepper and salt in the kingdom will scarce keep her reputation from stinking.|
see get one’s ass in a crack under ass n.
(US) to get going, to set off.
|AS XXII:1 Feb. 55: To hoist tail. To take off, move out, leave.‘Pacific War Lang.’ in|
1. (also light in the tail, warm...) wanton, promiscuous.
|cited inChurch Courts (1990) 313: [Calling her] bobtail whore and whore bitch, saying she was hot in the tail and had been and showed her arse before the king.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues VII 58/2: light (hot, or warm) in the tail = wanton.|
|Don’t Hate the Player 71: I’m not one of your little hot-in-the-tail girlfriends.|
2. (also hot in the pants) zealous, eager, esp. sexually.
|Prison Days and Nights 211: They get hot in the pants and take it out on us.|
|Hills were Joyful Together (1966) 33: Manny came up grinning at her in his over-bold force-ripe way, like he was hot in the pants.|
|Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed 13: Well, y’know how it is, guv’nor, bit hot in the pants I was when I was a lad.|
|Harlem Portraits 26: Gen’lemen, niggers an’ white trash can’t drink like gen’lemen. Liquor makes ’em hot in the tail.|
see under hot adj.
(US) to ignore small details while concentrating on the overall picture.
|Nebraska State Jrnl (Lincoln, NE) 23 Jan. 13/2: The blessed prophet Mohamet addressed the inspired words: ‘Let the tail go with the hide’.|
|Missouri Sharp Shooter (Rolla, MO) 23 Nov. 1/4: The people can now enjoy Republicanism [...] in its entirety [...] Yes, let the tail go with the hide.|
|Monett Times (MO) 12 July 2/2: The mischief is done and let it go at that. Let the tail go with the hide.|
|Kansas City Times (MO) 11 Apr. 16/2: The rock-ribbed of the unterrified probably consoled themselves with the thought [...] ‘Oh, well, we’ll let the tail go with the hide’.|
|Wisconsin State Jrnl (Madison, WI) 19 May 1/6: We wonder if the attitude [...] is not what the farmers used to mean when they used the expression, ‘Let the tail go with the hide’.|
|La cross trib. (WI) 1 May 4/3: When you write for the public press I guess you have to let the tail go wih the hide.|
|Muncie Eve. Press (IN) 13 Feb. 4/6: ‘Why I’ve heard that eveer since I was a kid [...] when people did their own butchering. You don’t want to fuss around [...] Just let the tail go with the hide’.|
|Tribune (Scranton, PA) 19 Feb. 8/4: If they believe we should continue with the status quo, let them say so, and let the tail go with the hide.|
|Maine Lingo 285: Tail goes with the hide [...] it doesn’t matter much one way or the other.|
|Arizona republic (Phoenix, AZ) 23 Oct. 29/4: The protagonist is a man of forthrightness, maintaining his uncompromising philosophy, ‘Take it or leave it; let the tail go wih the hide’.|
|🌐 She’s certainly interested in smaller quantities, but has been known to ‘let the tail go with the hide’ when presented with a large lot she wanted.‘Seek: Duo-Art Rolls’ on Mechanical Music Digest Archives 3 Feb.|
|Short Stories (1937) 143: The old lady is sure gettin’ on my tail pretty hard. She threatens to kick me out.‘Jo-Jo’ in|
|Decade 317: He’s had his pan sprung by a sawbones and his finger maps etched out in acid – but it’s no dice. The Feds are on his tail.|
|Of Love And Hunger 209: ‘Couple o’ coppers on my tail,’ he explained. ‘Where can we go?’.|
|Long Wait (1954) 82: Those guys had been on my tail all day.|
|‘The Fall’ in Life (1976) 82: Now I’ve heard whores cry ’bout the wind being high / And the law being on their tail.et al.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 53: You don’t want to believe all that rubbish about detector vans. That’s just to scare you . . . make you think that they’re on your tail.East in|
|A-Team Storybook 38: Lynch is on our tail.|
|Indep. Rev. 26 Aug. 15: The shapely investigator [...] on his tail.|
|Guardian 21 Jan. 32: No wonder the photographer from the Star is on his tail.|
(US) to cause trouble for someone.
|Rat on Fire (1982) 42: I’m gonna get somebody else to help me and also put your tail inna crack, just on general principles.|
1. to have sexual intercourse.
|XV Comforts of Marriage 114: He shakes his Elbow, and she her Tail.|
2. (US) to leave.
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 123: It showed he had been a wise guy in shaking his tail from Indiana.Young Lonigan in|
(US) to run away, to make one’s escape.
|King Solomon’s Mines n.p.: Next I made out a brown thing, seated on the table in the centre, and in another moment when, my eyes grew accustomed to the light, and I saw what these things were – I was tailing out of it as hard as my legs could carry me.|
see arse/ass over teakettle under arse n.
see — the arse/ass off under arse n.
see hot in the tail
a general excl. of disdain, dismissal, arrogant contempt.
|Bodhrán Makers 153: ‘Anonymous my tail,’ Nora Devane scoffed.|
SE in slang uses
(Ulster) an idler, one who holds back.
(UK Und.) three months’ imprisonment.
|Seven Curses of London 88: Three months’ imprisonment – a tail piece.|
|Aus. and Homeward 334: Some of their slang may be interesting [...] three months’, a tail piece.|
(N.Z.) to drive a car closely (too closely) behind the one in front.
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
a tea party held after an event at Court so the women involved can inspect each others’ dresses.
|Sporting Gaz. (London) 25 Apr. 534/3: A bit of lady slang new to me. Do you know what a ‘tail-tea’ is? It is for the inspection of Court dresses on their return from the function.|
1. a dog.
|Indianapolis Star (IN) 19 Apr. 36/6: The Tailwaggers Foundation of America wants to make it a law that nobody can ‘kick their dogs around’.|
|Steuben Republican (Angola, IN) 9 Feb. 10/1: [pic. caption] A tail wagger looks over a letter to the Roosevelt dog, Fala.|
|Brown’s Requiem 143: The shape on the spit was unmistakably canine: a medium-sized, meaty tailwagger.|
2. a general insult [the pej. use of SE cur].
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 252: Old bishops and colonels and other manner of tail-waggers.|
2. to become angry.
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.|
3. to become scared.
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.|
(US) used to convey that the speaker is in charge and should not be interfered with.
|Yellow Birds 43: ‘Don’t worry so much, ladies. You just hold the tail. Everything’ll be cool’ ‘The tail?’ I asked? ‘Yeah,’ he responded. ‘Let me fuck the dog’.|
(W.I.) to stay where one is, to keep quiet, to stay out of trouble.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
the person or vehicle that comes last in a queue or procession.
|(con. c.1970) Short Timers (1985) 166: Daddy D.A., who’s walking tail-end Charlie, calls out [...].|
|Florida Today (Cocoa, FL) 7 Mar. 8C/1: The mlst important element of Gosforth’s fly fishing successis his tandem bait system, the so-called ‘Tail End Charlie’. Instead of one papper [...] he uses two, by tying one behind the other.|
|Despatch (Moline, IL) 29 Sept. 33/6: For a third satraight year Ray Laughlin [...] has served as the QC Marathon’s ‘Tail Wnd Charlie’. He’s the guy who travels behind the field to make sure there are no stragglers.|