- sexual intercourse.
- Usually Disparaging and Offensive.a woman considered as a sex object.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to turn one's back on, as in aversion or fright.
- to run away from difficulty, opposition, etc.; flee: The sight of superior forces made the attackers turn tail.
Origin of tail1
- the female genitals
- a woman considered sexually (esp in the phrases piece of tail, bit of tail)
- the margin at the foot of a page
- the bottom edge of a book
Word Origin for tail
Word Origin for tail
"limitation of ownership," a legal term, early 14c. in Anglo-French; late 13c. in Anglo-Latin, in most cases a shortened form of entail.
"follow secretly," U.S. colloquial, 1907, is from earlier sense of "follow or drive cattle," from tail (n.1). Related: Tailed; tailing. Tail off "diminish" is attested from 1854.
"hindmost part of an animal," Old English tægl, tægel, from Proto-Germanic *tagla- (cf. Old High German zagal, German Zagel "tail," dialectal German Zagel "penis," Old Norse tagl "horse's tail"), from PIE *doklos, from root *dek- "something long and thin" (referring to such things as fringe, lock of hair, horsetail; cf. Old Irish dual "lock of hair," Sanskrit dasah "fringe, wick"). The primary sense, at least in Germanic, seems to have been "hairy tail," or just "tuft of hair," but already in Old English the word was applied to the hairless "tails" of worms, bees, etc. Another Old English word for "tail" was steort (see stark).
Meaning "reverse side of a coin" is from 1680s; that of "backside of a person, buttocks" is recorded from c.1300; slang sense of "pudenda" is from mid-14c.; that of "woman as sex object" is from 1933, earlier "prostitute" (1846). The tail-race (1776) is the part of a mill race below the wheel. To turn tail "take flight" (1580s) originally was a term in falconry. The image of the tail wagging the dog is attested from 1907.
In addition to the idioms beginning with tail
- tail between one's legs, with one's
- tail end
- tail off
- tail wagging the dog, the
- bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
- can't make head or tail of
- get off one's tail
- heads or tails
- in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)
- on someone's coattails
- tiger by the tail
- turn tail
- work one's fingers to the bone (tail off)