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Idioms and Phrases with thereby hangs a tale

thereby hangs a tale

That detail or incident reminds one of another story, as in So he went without supper, but thereby hangs a tale. This expression, embodying the pun on tail and tale, was used by Shakespeare in at least four of his plays and presumably was well known before that. [1500s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.