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Tail   /teɪl/   Listen
Tail

noun
1.
The posterior part of the body of a vertebrate especially when elongated and extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body.
2.
The time of the last part of something.  Synonyms: fag end, tail end.  "The tail of the storm"
3.
Any projection that resembles the tail of an animal.  Synonym: tail end.
4.
The fleshy part of the human body that you sit on.  Synonyms: arse, ass, backside, behind, bottom, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, can, derriere, fanny, fundament, hind end, hindquarters, keister, nates, posterior, prat, rear, rear end, rump, seat, stern, tail end, tooshie, tush.  "Are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?"
5.
A spy employed to follow someone and report their movements.  Synonyms: shadow, shadower.
6.
(usually plural) the reverse side of a coin that does not bear the representation of a person's head.
7.
The rear part of an aircraft.  Synonyms: empennage, tail assembly.
8.
The rear part of a ship.  Synonyms: after part, poop, quarter, stern.



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"Tail" Quotes from Famous Books



... of buying a horse that is (though he does not know it) blind in one eye. The law says that the buyer ought to be able to see such a defect quite as readily as the seller, and if he does not the fault is his own. Blindness in one eye is quite as easily seen as would be the lack of an ear or tail. And this principle applies very generally in all purchases. It covers all visible defects. Nor can any one find much fault with this rule, because the buyer generally has as good eyesight as the seller, and if he takes pains, as he should, he is able to discover all ordinary defects. ...
— Up To Date Business - Home Study Circle Library Series (Volume II.) • Various

... the hall of his college, and to receive one lash for each line in his satire. Never, surely, was a poet so sharply taught the merit of brevity. How Edward Anne must have regretted that he had not knocked off an epigram, a biting couplet, or a smart quatrain with the sting of the wit in the tail! ...
— Oxford • Andrew Lang

... in every detail and that is suspicious, for a train of wagons and horses crossing a shallow lake would stir up the water and disturb reflection. But there is another thing that helps you to recognise mirage. At the tail of the column rises a cloud of dust and here and there along the line you can make out a little wreath of dust rising apparently from the surface of ...
— In Mesopotamia • Martin Swayne

... a recollection of childish disaster. I had been making strenuous efforts to pull the tail out of the cat that I might use it for a feather duster. My desire was supreme logic. I could not understand objection; the cat resisted for certain utilitarian reasons of its own and my mother through humane sympathy. I had been scratched and spanked in addition: ...
— The Blind Spot • Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint

... furtive wildness. She seemed to be keeping a watch to prevent herself from looking as if she were looking for some one. "Do you know," Mrs. March said to her husband as they jingled along homeward in the Christopher Street bob-tail car, "I thought she was in love with that detestable Mr. Beaton of yours at one time; and that he was amusing ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... as we got out of Gorlmyn, and neither whip nor kicks 'ud make him stir. I tried ticklin', but t'wern't no good neither. How long this 'ud have gone on I dun know; I took him out o' th' shafts, and got him back to Gorlmyn, because some men helped me wi' him, and pulled at his tail, and twisted his carcass about till his nose pointed to the stable of the Angel. Then he condescended to get up and go to the inn. I shouldn't ha' got him away at all but that a notion came into my head as helped. I got the ostler to saddle ...
— The Broom-Squire • S. (Sabine) Baring-Gould

... of our knife-blade, holding it in the direction of the insect's body, we now touch its tail, what a display of vehement acrobatics! Instantly the agile body is bent backward in a loop, while the teeth fasten to the knife-blade with an audible click. If our finger-tip is substituted for ...
— My Studio Neighbors • William Hamilton Gibson

... entered the room she was aware of the scrutiny of those wary eyes, very wide open, as blue as flowers, and she knew that her own face was like a mask. The little dog wagged his tail, the cat made no sign, the nurse, after a cheerful greeting, went out of the room and Rose took her accustomed place beside the window. It had a view of the garden, the avenue of elms in which the rooks cawed continuously, the hedge separating the fields from ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... trembled for his life. He looked for a moment at the traitorous river, on which the torches dripped tears of blood, as if he saw death before him. The flood gurgled, as when a great fish strikes the water with its tail. ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Polish • Various

... tone of bitter reproach, as her friend pointed to an enormous alligator that lay beating the mud with its tail in the agonies of death. "Why do you do these things? Must Rosa lose her sister, because she foolishly wishes to be a man, and to fight ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... do with us. It is suggestive of this view that the exercise of the vocal power seems to be complementary to the development of accessory plumes and ornaments, all our finest singing birds being plainly coloured, and with no crests, neck or tail plumes to display; while the gorgeously ornamented birds of the tropics have no song, and those which expend much energy in display of plumage, as the turkey, peacocks, birds of paradise, and humming-birds, have comparatively an insignificant ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... caught a pretty pigeon by its tail and bit it. Then Mr. Green took him over his knee, just as he did Jehosophat when he threw a stone at the window, ...
— Seven O'Clock Stories • Robert Gordon Anderson

... also the children's dinner—supper and bed occurring from five to six—meat figured on the card, and Kit-Ki's purring increased to an ecstatic and wheezy squeal, and her rigid tail, as she stood up on Drina's lap, was constantly brushing ...
— The Younger Set • Robert W. Chambers

... inserted. In settling large estates and sums of money various modes of settlement are adopted to suit the circumstances, but the above is the outline of an ordinary settlement. Large landed estates are generally settled, after the decease of the settlers, upon the first and other sons in tail male with cross remainders between them, and in default of male issue ...
— The Etiquette of Engagement and Marriage • G. R. M. Devereux

... She pulls her tail; And takes the bird-cage Down from the nail; Teases her brothers, And spoils her hair, And reproved ...
— Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1 • Edward William Cole

... Foxes, the Osages, and the Iowas, all shave their heads, leaving a tuft on the crown two or three inches in length, and a small lock in the middle of it, as long as they can make it grow. By means of this small lock of hair braided, they ornament the tuft with a crest of the deer's tail dyed scarlet, and sometimes add to it a ...
— History, Manners, and Customs of the North American Indians • George Mogridge

... very long in the legs, but, then, what room everywhere else! He could hide away entirely in this immense space which allows a shirt-tail, escaping through a slit, to wave like a flag. These breeches preserve a remembrance of all the garments of the family; here is a piece of maternal petticoat, here a fragment of yellow waistcoat, here a scrap of blue handkerchief; ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... transport and hospital, and their tactics were clever. They had formed a series of ambushes, connected by a broad path. The head of the column was allowed to pass, unattacked; then the carriers were fired into heavily and, when the tail of the column passed, they ran along the path to the next ambush and ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... one occasion the mutna heard "the call of the wild," and went back to the jungle. Evidently, though, his wild brethren didn't like the civilized ways he brought back with him, for when he returned home later two thirds of his tail had been pulled off, and he bore other marks of struggle on his body. The tusker on one occasion ran mad (as they will do now and then) and killed one of ...
— Where Half The World Is Waking Up • Clarence Poe

... the point where they had been begun in the fourteenth, and pursued the track they had then followed some distance beyond the junction; destroying or hiding their own commencement, as the serpent, which is the type of eternity, conceals its tail in its jaws. ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... indeed a small dog, very fat and very yellow, and with less than two inches of stubby tail, but he was keeping up a very steady racket at the heels of the cow. He could hardly have done better if he had been a perpetual pack of fire-crackers, going off ...
— Harper's Young People, August 31, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... eight minutes two sprig tail ducks, take out and cut the meat from the bones. Break up the bones. Cover with water in a saucepan and cook with a dozen cloves, one onion and some chopped celery, to make a gravy. When done strain it off. To this gravy add the meat, two ounces of butter, ...
— Joe Tilden's Recipes for Epicures • Joe Tilden

... only one pattern shoe, the ancle-jack (or highlow as it is sometimes called), resplendent with "Day and Martin," or the no less brilliant "Warren." Genius of propriety, we have described his tail before that index of the mind, that idol of phrenologists, his pimple!—we beg pardon, we mean his head. Round, and rosy as a pippin, it stands alone in its native loveliness, on the heap ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 12, 1841 • Various

... And his tail drew the third part of the 563:24 stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy

... its teeth would not go into it. While it was doing this I heard the sound of a man somewhere in the wood. So did the fox, and oh! it looked so frightened. It lay down panting, its tongue hanging out and its ears pressed back against its head, and whisked its big tail from side to side. Then it began to gnaw again, but this time at its own leg. It wanted to bite it off and so get away. I thought this very brave of the fox, and though I hated it because it had eaten my brother and tried to eat me, I felt ...
— The Mahatma and the Hare • H. Rider Haggard

... Oh, I libs at home an' boa'ds at de same place, I does. An' my name's Nimbus, jes' straight along, widout any tail ner handle." ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... Surely, it must be the footfall of some large animal, this cadenced rustling on the leaves! It comes—it will cross near—there, it has turned, it is near the road! Look! There it is, a great animal, half the length of one's arm, with bushy, long red tail arched high for easier running, its grayish coat showing in the bars of sunlight, its eyes bright and black and keen. Had it not been said there were wild ...
— The Singing Mouse Stories • Emerson Hough

... added, it seemed to grow instead of diminishing. One could not but smile at times at its appearance, and the wonder of more than one conductor on the trains was excited as it was unfolded, and it streamed out like the tail of a kite. It was most generous in its proportions as the railway companies ...
— By the Golden Gate • Joseph Carey

... pastor John would often on her leer, just as a cur, when store of bones are near, That would good pickings for his teeth afford, Attentively behold the precious hoard, And seem uneasy; move his feet and tail; Now prick his ears; then fear he can't prevail, The eyes still fixed upon the bite in sight, Which twenty times to these affords delight, Ere to his longing jaws the boon arrives, ...
— The Tales and Novels, Complete • Jean de La Fontaine

... 1880, and to avoid such a calamity he advocated "scratching the ticket."[1656] Several well-known Republicans, adopting the suggestion, published an address, giving reasons for their refusal to support the head and the tail of the ticket. They cited the cause of Cornell's dismissal from the custom-house; compared the cost of custom-house administration before and after his separation from the service; and made unpleasant reference to the complicity of Soule in the canal frauds, as revealed in the eleventh ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... judged by the mind that produces stuff of this sort: "Little Jimmy had a little white pig." "Did the little pig know Jimmy?" "Yes, the little pig knew Jimmy, and would come when he called." "How did little Jimmy know his pig from the other little pigs?" "By the twist in his tail." ("Children," asks the teacher, "what is the meaning of 'twist'?") "Jimmy liked to stride the little pig's back." "Would the little pig let him?" "Yes, when he was absorbed eating his dinner." ("Children, what is the meaning of 'absorbed'?") ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... of North Italy, either in Piedmont or in the Italian Republic, shadowy realms being outlined in the Peninsula for the consolation of the dispossessed King of Sardinia. But the sting of the proposal was in its tail. Alexander suggested that, to secure the boon of peace, England should restore her maritime conquests in the war, and also Malta if Napoleon insisted on this last, the island being then garrisoned ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... the lowest depths of despair to the wildest confidence. Yesterday afternoon a pigeon arrived covered with blood, bearing on its tail a despatch from Gambetta, of the 11th, announcing that the Prussians had been driven out of Orleans after two days' fighting, that 1,000 prisoners, two cannon, and many munition waggons had been taken, and that the pursuit was still continuing. The despatch was read at the Mairies ...
— Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris • Henry Labouchere

... Committee on Publications and by the Council; of the various experiments needed to settle upon the size and shape of the book, the size of its page and its margins, the style of type, the initial letters, head-bands, tail-pieces, engravings, etc. etc.; of the printer's endless proofs, the making of a special paper (which sometimes proves to be unsuited), and, finally, the style of binding. What material, color, and general make-up shall it have? If our members could thus ...
— Book-Lovers, Bibliomaniacs and Book Clubs • Henry H. Harper

... those countries; and he is not much more than an eagle. And he hath a crest of feathers upon his head greater than the peacock hath. And his neck is yellow, after the color of an orial, that is a stone well shining. And his beak is colored blue, and his wings are of purple color, and his tail is yellow and red. And he is a full fair bird to look upon against the sun; for he shineth full gloriously ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... scream of delight, and kissed him resoundingly. After which she shook hands with him. It was what he expected. You could have heard the three of them talking if you had been on the sidewalk, but you could not have made head or tail of the conversation. Joey repeated a single remark four times, without being heard by either of his companions. It referred to a joyful reunion and ...
— The Rose in the Ring • George Barr McCutcheon

... happened that I'd been having a few talks on general subjects with the man who looked after these ostriches, and quite incidentally he'd said one of the birds was ailing, and he fancied it had indigestion. It had one feather in its tail almost all white, by which I knew it, and so when, next day, the auction started with it, I capped Padishah's eighty-five by ninety. I fancy I was a bit too sure and eager with my bid, and some of the others spotted ...
— The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... out on a journey saw his Dog stand at the door stretching himself. He asked him sharply: "Why do you stand there gaping? Everything is ready but you, so come with me instantly." The Dog, wagging his tail, replied: "O, master! I am quite ready; it is you for whom ...
— Aesop's Fables • Aesop

... man. And thus at once was opened to them the realm of sculpture. The people of the East, sometimes indeed depicting their deities in human forms, did not hesitate to change them into monsters, if the addition of another leg or another arm, a dog's head or a serpent's tail, could better express the emblem they represented. They perverted their images into allegorical deformities; and receded from the beautiful in proportion as they indulged their false conceptions ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... called himself a Whig, though it was Whig mean vengeance on account of his erratic vote and voice on two or three occasions that denied him a peerage and a seat in haven. Thither let your good sheep go, your echoes, your wag-tail dogs, your wealthy pursy manufacturers! He decried the attractions of the sublimer House, and laughed at the transparent Whiggery of his party in replenishing it from the upper shoots of the commonalty: 'Dragging it down to prop it ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... a man going ashore dressed as a Bishop with a Bible in his hand to entice the natives away, assumes islands to be in a state where the conventional man in white tie and black- tail coat preaches to the natives. My costume, when I go ashore, is an old Crimean shirt, a very ancient wide-awake. Not a syllable has in all probability ever been written, except in our small note-books, of the language of the island. My attention is turned to keeping ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... that you may always know something funny is coming when you see a cat wag her tail. I had come to the conclusion that whenever one person addressed me with endearing phrases, something sinister was coming. I looked up this time: I did not courtesy and walk away, as I did on the last occasion. I wanted to avoid an open quarrel. If she had sought me out after that, I could not ...
— Out in the Forty-Five - Duncan Keith's Vow • Emily Sarah Holt

... wit, we thought it would be a good thing to parade our dear little honor, or dishonor, to catch an old boy; but that old boy, my dear heart, knows the Alpha and Omega of female tricks,—which means that you could easier put salt on a sparrow's tail than to make me believe I have anything to do with your little affair. Go to Paris, my dear; go at the cost of an old celibate, I won't prevent it; in fact, I'll help you, for an old bachelor, Suzanne, ...
— An Old Maid • Honore de Balzac

... the city from the east it started a left turn. I started to intercept. During the first part of the chase the closest I got to the light was 8 to 10 miles. At this time it appeared to be as large as an SNJ and had a greenish tail that looked to be five to six times as long as the light's diameter. This tail was seen several times in the next 10 minutes in periods of from 5 to 30 seconds each. As I reached 10,000 feet it appeared to be at 15,000 feet and in ...
— The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects • Edward Ruppelt

... type has disappeared. Couchant lion type with snake tail has been found at Olympia and Sparta. In general brooches cease to ...
— How to Observe in Archaeology • Various

... his own wrinkled hands took on a new firmness and color where they reposed on the animal's back. Young Forsythe grinned triumphantly as Spot's breathing became more regular and the rasp gradually left it. Then the dog whined in pleasure and wagged his tail with increasing vigor. Suddenly he raised his head, perked his ears in astonishment and looked his master straight in the face with eyes that saw once more. The low throat cry rose to a full and joyous bark. He sprang to his feet from under the restraining hands ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science February 1930 • Various

... lifted up its monstrous head, and opening wide its jaws, made a dash at the intruder. So formidable did she appear that the sturdy boatswain, though he would have faced a human foe without trembling, turned tail and ran for his life. The seal followed, but just then, Paul Lizard coming in sight, she bolted at him, moving over the ground with her flipper-like feet at a rapid rate. Paul, having learned a lesson from experience, dodged behind a tree, and when the seal nearly reached him, sprang on one ...
— The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader - And what befell their Passengers and Crews. • W.H.G. Kingston

... rained many things in their time: bread, quails, blood, frogs, and what not; but there is no mention of them ever having rained babies. It could not, therefore, have come from the clouds. It could not even have fallen from the tail of a cart, for then it would have been killed, or at least have broken its bones and generally been rendered a different baby from the sound, chubby mite sleeping as peacefully as though the Golgotha of Provence ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... to represent a herald, but bearing a much stronger resemblance to a court-card on horseback. This was one of the Circus people, who always came down to Mudfog at that time of the year, and who had been engaged by Nicholas Tulrumble expressly for the occasion. There was the horse, whisking his tail about, balancing himself on his hind-legs, and flourishing away with his fore-feet, in a manner which would have gone to the hearts and souls of any reasonable crowd. But a Mudfog crowd never was a reasonable one, and in all probability never will be. Instead of scattering the very fog with ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... be also; so we should, in a certain way, try to forget the body and make sure of getting the soul safely into Heaven. You would not think much of the wisdom of a boy who allowed his kite to be smashed in pieces by giving his whole attention to the tail of the kite. If he took care to keep the kite itself high in air and away from every danger, the tail would follow it; and even if the tail did get entangled, it would have a good chance of being freed while the kite was still flying. But of what use is it to save a worthless ...
— Baltimore Catechism No. 4 (of 4) - An Explanation Of The Baltimore Catechism of Christian Doctrine • Thomas L. Kinkead

... George. "If you were to put some water into a vial and tie it to the tail of a kite, and send it up into the air high enough, the water would freeze, and when it came down you would find the water turned ...
— Rollo in Switzerland • Jacob Abbott

... Hazen's stubby forefinger interrupted him. He followed the finger's angry point. Close at his side stood Lass, wagging her tail and ...
— Bruce • Albert Payson Terhune

... of the Slug [Limax cinereus]," Zooelogist, vol. xv, 1857, p. 6272). It begins toward midnight on sultry summer nights, one slug slowly following another, resting its mouth on what may be called the tail of the first, and following its every movement. Finally they stop and begin crawling around each other, emitting large quantities of mucus. When this has constituted a mass of sufficient size and consistence they suspend themselves from it by a cord of mucus from ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... could swear that the originator of the anecdote was aut Eliza, aut diabola. A few pages further on (p. 104) appears the incident of a swaggerer who enters the royal vault of Westminster Abbey at dead of night on a wager, and having the tail of his coat twitched by the knife he has stuck in the ground, is frightened into a faint—a story which Mrs. Haywood later retold in different words in her "Female Spectator."[11] The "Secret Memoirs" further informs us by a ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness. But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land. And as I looked at the map of it in a shop-window, it fascinated me as a snake would a bird—a silly little bird. Then I remembered there was a big concern, a Company for trade on that river. Dash it all! I ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... main hatches; and comprise so extensive an area, that it much resembles the market place of a small town. The melodious sounds thence issuing, continually draw tears from the eyes of the Waisters; reminding them of their old paternal pig-pens and potato-patches. They are the tag-rag and bob-tail of the crew; and he who is good for nothing else is good ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... handsomely by spending eighteen months on crutches, having two surgical operations, and breaking my arm. I distinctly noticed that instead of my recuperation beginning when my breakdown ended, it began before that. The ascending curve cut through the tail of the descending one; and I was consummating my collapse and rising ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... the gooseberry-bush that you may remember stood on the left side of the yard; he was wont to bask in the sun there; when he had reached that spot, he stopped; we went on: I called to him; he wagged his tail, but did not stir: I called again; he lay down: I whistled, and cried Trusty; he gave a short howl, and died! I could have lain down and died too; but God gave me strength to ...
— The Man of Feeling • Henry Mackenzie

... its interest as a self-revelation made manifest to the reader. The future historian, who spared no pains to be accurate, falls into the most extraordinary anachronisms in almost every chapter. Brutus in a bob-wig, Othello in a swallow-tail coat, could hardly be more incongruously equipped than some of his characters in the manner of thought, the phrases, the way of bearing themselves which belong to them in the tale, but never could have belonged to characters of our Revolutionary period. He goes so far in his carelessness ...
— Memoir of John Lothrop Motley, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... his messengers and foraging parties. In the western part, the mountain people gathered, who were used to Indian fighting. They were joined by rugged men from all parts of the South. Each man was dressed in homespun, with a deer's tail or bit of green stuck in his hat. Each carried a long rifle, hunting knife, knapsack and blanket. At King's Mountain (on the border line between North and South Carolina), this little army overtook and destroyed a British and Tory force under General Ferguson. ...
— George Washington • Calista McCabe Courtenay

... stars which deck his glittering head; His temples are with double glory spread; From his fierce eyes two fervid lights afar Flash, and his chin shines with one radiant star; Bow'd is his head; and his round neck he bends, And to the tail ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... cutting of the book at the edges. This is done by screwing it firmly in a cutting-machine, which works a sharp knife rapidly, shaving off the edges successively of the head, front and end, or "tail" as it is called in book-binding parlance. This trimming used to be done by hand, with a sharp cutting knife called by binders a "plough." Now, there are many forms of cutting machines, some of which are called "guillotines" for an obvious reason. In binding ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... who lived in 1534, was noted for his strength and agility. When he placed his feet together, one against the other, he could find no one able to disturb them. He could easily bend and break a horseshoe with his hands, and could seize an ox by the tail and drag it against its will. More than once he was said to have carried a horse on his shoulders. According to Guyot-Daubes there was, in the last century, a Major Barsaba who could seize the limb of a horse and fracture ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... and then shaped a course towards the opposite shore. Naturally our interest was excited, and as a favourable breeze sprang up and gradually strengthened we were able to follow at a discreet distance from the tail of the sea disturber. It would have taken the vessel out of our way to have followed it far, so a course was set for Campbeltown, and the monster was soon lost to view. Navigation was made intricate by a large fleet of fishing ...
— Windjammers and Sea Tramps • Walter Runciman

... gae kaim his wig, The sodger not to strut sae big, The lawyer not to be a prig; The fool he cried, Te-hee! I kenn'd that I could never fail! But she pinn'd the dishclout to his tail, And soused him frae the water-pail, ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume II. - The Songs of Scotland of the past half century • Various

... who, becoming much impressed with Mr. Wenham's proposal, produced a largish model at the exhibition of the Aeronautical Society in 1868. It consisted of three superposed surfaces aggregating 28 square feet and a tail of 8 square feet more. The weight was under 12 pounds and it was driven by a central propeller actuated by a steam engine overestimated at one-third of a horsepower. It ran suspended to a wire on its trials but failed of free flight, in consequence of defective equilibrium. ...
— Flying Machines - Construction and Operation • W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

... Henry Clay," remarked Landis, in obvious relevancy to his companion's attire, "there's a picture of Henry Clay somewheres about the house in a swallow-tail coat. Governor Ray spoke here in one in early times, Bodeffer says, except it was higher built up 'n yourn about the collar, and had brass buttons, I think. Ole man Wimby was here to-night," the landlord continued, changing ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... coat, examined a long slit in its side where a vicious knife had ripped it from shoulder to tail; then slipped it on again, and watched his ...
— Gordon Craig - Soldier of Fortune • Randall Parrish

... the panther was like a black, snake-like fury, blind with rage and unsatisfied lust, with tail lashing like a whipcord and yellow eyes that gleamed like tiny suns. His jaws were red and dripping, his claws had been torn by the same grapnels that had snatched his prey ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... it was plain that they were talking together in the dog language. We all sat down in the grass, in the moonlight, for the clouds were breaking away now, and Satan took the dog's head in his lap and put the eye back in its place, and the dog was comfortable, and he wagged his tail and licked Satan's hand, and looked thankful and said the same; I knew he was saying it, though I did not understand the words. Then the two talked together a bit, and ...
— The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... thought the thing out in church on the Sunday; and after a hard run at the tail of a strong fox over a rough country on the Monday, and a good sleep well into the morning of the Tuesday, could see no better way. His device was ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... mistaken when we look at our trials as unmixed evils. They "are blessings in disguise." The dripping clouds which hide the sun, enrich the earth. The difficulties with which we have to contend, increase our strength. The tail of the kite, which seems to pull it down, helps it to rise. And the afflictions, which seem to press us to the ground, help to raise us ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... her long tail gets uncurled And sways but the least bit in the world, And one of them makes a roguish nip At it, or plays at mouse with the tip, Somebody hears, A ...
— On the Tree Top • Clara Doty Bates

... was remarkable. Its tail, long and straight, extended over an arc of 30 degrees, but there was no appreciable condensation which could be called the comet's head. The long train of light, described as nearly equal in brightness to the Magellanic clouds, seemed to be simply cut off at that end where in ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 633, February 18, 1888 • Various

... questions as to their identification. "Now, Mr. Jones, perhaps you will show us where his lungs are?" Jones made an unsuccessful search. "Well, can we see where his heart is?" and so on—all failures. Finally and scornfully, "Well, perhaps you can show the gentlemen where his tail is!" ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... Mopser? — A comely dog is he, With hair of the colour of a Charles the Fifth, And teeth like ships at sea, His tail it curls straight upwards, His ears stand two abreast, And he answers to the simple name of Mopser ...
— Peacock Pie, A Book of Rhymes • Walter de la Mare

... appearance of following, and would soon have made short work of our infantry, which were occupying very indifferent trenches near the railway, Captain Bath saw the danger and steamed forward, firing rapidly; shells burst all round his target, and so bewildered his opponent that he soon turned tail and retired to safety. I applied to the Japanese commander, General Oie, through Major Pichon that our trains, directly it was dark, might be allowed to return to Svagena to shunt the injured gun to the rear train. About 7 P.M., while preparing to return for this purpose, a few sharp rifle-cracks ...
— With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia • John Ward

... say "All right!" but he gave three pats on the oil-cloth with his long bushy tail, a sign that he accepted the position, and then he ...
— Mother Carey's Chicken - Her Voyage to the Unknown Isle • George Manville Fenn

... hire an ox, and break off a horn, or cut off its tail or hurt its muzzle, he shall pay one-fourth of its value ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1 • Various

... to 'Cold as a newt hid in a shady brook'—for 'what do you know about newts?' he asked of the author—who thereupon confessed. But never try and catch a speckled gray lizard when we are in Italy, love, and you see his tail hang out of the chink of a wall, his winter-house—because the strange tail will snap off, drop from him and stay in your fingers—and though you afterwards learn that there is more desperation in it ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... their tails to one another and winked their cat's eyes in token that they understood his talk. And then he said: 'I shall now dive for a lobster for the king. And no hurt shall befall me, because the shark with the shortest tail is my ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... in the great medicine lodge are four sacks of water, called Eeh-teeh-ka, sewed together, each of them in the form of a tortoise lying on its back, with a bunch of eagle feathers attached to its tail. "These four tortoises," they told me, "contained the waters from the four quarters of the world—that those waters had been contained therein ever since the settling down of the waters," "I did not," says Catlin, who knew nothing of an Atlantis theory, ...
— The Antediluvian World • Ignatius Donnelly

... formidable in size as the one we were in search of, could not hide himself very easily, and soon we beheld him on the surface of the river, lashing the water with his long tail, snapping and clattering with his jaws, and endeavouring to get at those who disturbed him in his retreat. A universal shout of joy greeted his appearance; the Indians in the pirogues hurled their lances at him, whilst we, upon either shore of the lake, fired a volley. The bullets rebounded ...
— Adventures in the Philippine Islands • Paul P. de La Gironiere

... that he would do better business with the new enemy than the old one, he turned upon him instead. For a moment he stood motionless, roaring, kicking up the dust with his hind feet, and lashing his sides with his tail. Then he rushed upon Alfonso, his eyes all bloodshot, his horns tearing up the ground. Alfonso awaited him with a tranquil air; then, when he was only three paces away, he made a bound to one sides and presented instead of his body his ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... dear little fellow! a perfect darling! But where did you get him, Frank?" asked Bunny in delight, as she danced joyfully round her new treasure. "Did you manage to put salt on his tail?" ...
— Naughty Miss Bunny - A Story for Little Children • Clara Mulholland

... with a pink and white checked apron. "Now just for that," she said, turning to her husband, who was still lounging in the doorway, "I'm going to put you out. And Bruce, too. I have enough to do without having a husband who makes fun of me and a dog who sticks his tail into everything under my feet all the time. Hurry on," and she pushed her protesting, laughing husband and the reluctant dog out through the open door and ...
— Billie Bradley on Lighthouse Island - The Mystery of the Wreck • Janet D. Wheeler

... cavalry in full rout—running away from ghosts by the look of it—their formation hardly yet broken, horse and man racing with the wind and a scattering of unhorsed fugitives streaming behind like a comet's tail. ...
— Affair in Araby • Talbot Mundy

... said she. "They'll be having their after-dinner nap, so you can easily leave it without their seeing you." Kristian put it down on the little bench underneath the elder; but when later on he crept past, to see if it had been taken, only the tail and the fins remained—the cat had eaten it up. Ditte scolded him well, and Kristian had to puzzle his brains ...
— Ditte: Girl Alive! • Martin Andersen Nexo

... beautiful setter, with soft, silken hair, long pendent ears, and a mild eye, the parlor favorite. When in front of the house, we were joined by a superannuated greyhound, who came from the kitchen wagging his tail, and was cheered by Scott as an old ...
— Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey • Washington Irving

... failed to reach the life of the spirit. Hints of robustness survived in him, more than a hint of primitive good looks, and Margaret, noting the spine that might have been straight, and the chest that might have broadened, wondered whether it paid to give up the glory of the animal for a tail coat and a couple of ideas. Culture had worked in her own case, but during the last few weeks she had doubted whether it humanized the majority, so wide and so widening is the gulf that stretches between the natural and the philosophic ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... door being opened. Nicanor knew it must be the door leading to the passage, since the other was locked. He dropped Hito, who crumpled into an abject heap upon the floor, past speech or motion, and went on dancing by himself. From the tail of his eye he saw Wardo the Saxon and Quartus enter and stand gaping, dumb with amazement. Hito shook his fist at them from the floor and stuttered. When breath enough had entered into him, he ...
— Nicanor - Teller of Tales - A Story of Roman Britain • C. Bryson Taylor

... was wagging his short tail and barking and jumping in a storm of delight, while Dick hugged him with the blissful thought that now he would have ...
— Dick Lionheart • Mary Rowles Jarvis

... furnace should be heated, and this tail of a drake thrown into it, because he must be ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... affectionate words on it, for the last ten minutes. The animal, which was no doubt secretly flattered by her attentions, kept close to the good woman, but just out of reach of her hand, and quietly walked round the trees, against which she rubbed herself, with her tail up, ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume III (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... Miss Lady," the Stray pleaded, as he ran along beside me, trying to keep up with my long steps. "I've got me a dog now to keep off turkles from me and you." And the slinking brindle bunch of ears and tail and very little else, at our heels, regarded me with the same brave entreaty. He and the Stray, indeed, presented a picture of chivalrous attention as they stood ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... enclosure, sometimes in another, more by mistake, I apprehend, than by intention; for "prepositions" under certain circumstances are parsed as "adverbs," and "adverbs" as "adjectives," and "conjunctions" as either "adverbs" or "prepositions;" and not unfrequently the whole go off together, like the tail of the dragon, drawing other respectable words along with them, under the sweeping cognomen of "adverbial phrases," or "conjunctive expressions;" as, Can you write your lesson? Not yet quite well enough. "But and if ...
— Lectures on Language - As Particularly Connected with English Grammar. • William S. Balch

... morning, the core of light reappeared, no less intense, five miles to windward of the Abraham Lincoln. Despite the distance, despite the noise of wind and sea, we could distinctly hear the fearsome thrashings of the animal's tail, and even its panting breath. Seemingly, the moment this enormous narwhale came up to breathe at the surface of the ocean, air was sucked into its lungs like steam into the huge cylinders of a ...
— 20000 Leagues Under the Seas • Jules Verne

... assuredly have followed in the wake of the thousand bogus companies that exist to-day. I only wonder that it has not come sooner. You and Ferriby and, of course, the women have been swindled, my dear Tony—that is the head and the tail of it." ...
— Roden's Corner • Henry Seton Merriman

... himself in front of the cortege to beat the track. The dogs followed him with the sleigh-bells ringing merrily. Blondin took hold of the tail-line, and the others ...
— The Big Otter • R.M. Ballantyne

... to reach to the four corners of a large, thin, silk handkerchief when extended; tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities of the cross so you have the body of a kite; which being properly accommodated with a tail, loop, and string, will rise in the air like those made of paper; but this being of silk is fitter to bear the wind and wet of a thunder-gust without tearing. To the top of the upright stick of the cross ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... find with surprise that I'm constantly sneezing; I'm stiff in the legs, and I'm often for sale; And the blue-bottle flies, with their tiresome teasing, Are quite out of reach of my weary old tail. ...
— Davy and The Goblin - What Followed Reading 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' • Charles E. Carryl

... bunk very cautiously and carefully, and his body after it—there were nut ends of bolts, a heavy axle, and extremely hard projections, points, and corners within a very few short inches of his chaff-filled sugar-bag pillow. Slipping cannily on to his hands and knees, he crawled out under the tail-board, dragging his "moles" after him, and stood outside in the moonlight shaking himself into ...
— The Rising of the Court • Henry Lawson

... such as in England might sell for about thirty or forty shillings; and he had two slaves followed him on foot, to drive the poor creature along: he had a whip in his hand, and he belaboured the beast as fast about the head as his slaves did about the tail; and thus he rode by us with about ten or twelve servants; and we were told he was going from the city to his country-seat, about half a league before us. We travelled on gently, but this figure of ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... advancing into the forest in search of the tiger aforesaid, and bellowing his challenge of war, he espies not one but six tigers coming towards him? This manifestly is not his game at all. He puts his tail between his royal legs, and retreats into his own snug den as quickly as he may. Were he to attempt to go and fight six tigers, you might write that ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... note. I am sorry to say I have not even the tail-end of a fact in English Zoology to communicate. I have found that even trifling observations require, in my case, some leisure and energy, both of which ingredients I have had none to spare, as writing my Geology thoroughly expends both. I had always thought that I would keep a ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I • Francis Darwin

... a lodgment on the promontory nicknamed by our men the 'Dog's Tail.' My scouts crossed the lake at night, dug themselves in and annoyed the enemy holding the brickyard, situated upon a slight eminence at the northern part of the promontory. A Lettish officer commanded the scouts and organized the whole landing. Being a native ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... any thing else, because feathers are very light. Seven of the large feathers out of the great eagle's wing would not weigh more than two halfpennies. The wings of a bird make him able to fly, and the tail guides him through the air, just as you may see the men steer boats with the rudder; and if you pulled the feathers off his tail, he would not be able to fly near so straight or fast as when they are on. When the rain falls on the feathers, ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... George E. Foster. He looked over the Grain Bill, passed his hand along its withers and patted it on the rump. Then he sat down and made a copy of it, idealizing it by injecting a few "betterments," then trotted it out for inspection with tail and mane plaited and bells on its patent-leather surcingle. He did not claim to be its real father—only its foster-father. He introduced it to the House with a very lucid review of the whole agitation for improvement in the Grain and Inspection ...
— Deep Furrows • Hopkins Moorhouse

... there to speak to me . . . Sometimes the grey cat waves his tail around me . . . Goldfish swim in a bowl, glisten in sunlight, Dilate to a gorgeous size, blow delicate bubbles, Drowse among dark green weeds. On rainy days, You'll see a gas-light shedding light behind me— An eye-shade round my forehead. There I sit, Twirling the tiny brushes ...
— The House of Dust - A Symphony • Conrad Aiken

... valet dresses him for his dinner. He hands down his lady, decked with pearls that never grew in the shell of a British oyster, and her waving plume of ostrich-feathers certainly never formed the tail of a barn-door fowl. The viands of his table are from all countries of the world; his wines are from the banks of the Rhine and the Rhone. In his conservatory, he regales his sight with the blossoms of South American flowers; in his smoking-room, he gratifies his scent with the weed of ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 446 - Volume 18, New Series, July 17, 1852 • Various

... each other's footsteps. The hare's track when running is two holes abreast and then two single ones. The fox runs rather like a dog. The squirrel hops two feet at a time, often leaving a slight ruffle on the snow as he swishes his tail. Among the cembra trees in the Engadine the snow may be sprinkled with the nuts out of the cones. They are delicious eating, being very like the Italian stone pine nut, or pinelli, and they attract the squirrels as much as they do ...
— Ski-running • Katharine Symonds Furse

... called it, our equal. As if he were not infinitely the superior of the hundreds of trumpery little apes of nobles who strutted about the galleries of the Louvre, with nothing to do but mayhap to carry the Queen's fan, or curl her poodle's tail! ...
— Stray Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... the green water. She brought him nearer. Swimming parallel with the boat, he was plainly visible from his wide-opened mouth—the hook and fly protruding from his lower jaw—to the red, quivering flanges of the tail. His sides were faintly speckled, his belly white as chalk. He was almost as long ...
— Blix • Frank Norris

... the Mists, the middle place (center) of the Medicine societies of the world. There he was guarded on all sides by his six warriors, A-pi-thlan shi-wa-ni (pi-thlanbow, shi-wa-nipriests), the prey gods; toward the North by the Mountain Lion (Long Tail); toward the West by the Bear (Clumsy Foot); toward the South by the Badger (Black Mark Face); toward the East by the Wolf (Hang Tail); above by the Eagle (White Cap); and below by the Mole. When he was about to go forth into the world, he divided the universe into six regions, namely, ...
— Zuni Fetiches • Frank Hamilton Cushing

... orc Rogero does not smite With lance or faulchion where the tushes grow, But aims that 'twixt the ears his blow may light; Now on the spine, or now on tail below. And still in time descends or soars upright, And shifts his course, to cheat the veering foe: But as if beating on a jasper block, Can never cleave the hard ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... from you that I am playing a daring game, and it is very possible that when I least expect it I may be seized, tied to the tail of a mule, and dragged either to the prison of Toledo or Madrid. Yet such a prospect does not discourage me in the least, but rather urges me on to persevere; for I assure you—and in this assertion there lurks not the slightest desire to magnify myself and produce ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... speedy utmost, Meg, And win the key-stane of the brig: There at them thou thy tail may toss, A running stream ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 208, October 22, 1853 • Various

... fired by the pulling of a trigger in the ordinary way, the gun will automatically continue to send out shot after shot, until the whole of the cartridges on the belt are exhausted; and if care is taken before this happens to link on to the tail of the first belt the head of a second one, and another belt to this, and so on, the firing will be automatically continuous, and at a rate anywhere between one shot per minute and six hundred shots per minute, dependent on the will of the ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 488, May 9, 1885 • Various

... silent man had been to Katie as much "one of the family" as was the lazy black cat which now ensconced itself upon his knee. Pasht, for his part, regarded Martini as a useful piece of household furniture. This visitor never trod upon his tail, or puffed tobacco smoke into his eyes, or in any way obtruded upon his consciousness an aggressive biped personality. He behaved as a mere man should: provided a comfortable knee to lie upon and purr, and at table never forgot that to look on while human beings eat ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... that there were sixteen lines, and when he began to read it, it became to him utterly confused and unintelligible. So he put it back, and went to another portion of the room and took down Wittier's "Hallelujah;" and of this he could make neither head nor tail. He was informed, by a heading in the book itself, that a piece of poetry was to be sung "as the ten commandments." He could not do that, and put the book back again, and declared to himself that farther search would ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... of life are not to be had singly, but come to us with a mixture; like a schoolboy's holiday, with a task affixed to the tail of ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... delve in the earth. The antennae, of fair length, are free and waving to and fro; the limbs are bending at their articulations; the fore-limbs, which are relatively powerful, open and shut their talons. I can scarcely think of any more curious spectacle than that of this tiny gymnast hanging by its tail, swinging to the faintest breath, and preparing in the air for its entry into the world. It hangs there for a variable period; some larvae let themselves fall at the end of half an hour; others spend hours in their long-stemmed cup; some ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre



Words linked to "Tail" :   uropygium, torso, vertebrate, craniate, brush, keister, pursue, verso, spy, coin, hunt, reverse, projection, scut, process, trunk, plural form, ship, caudal appendage, rattle, follower, appendage, quest, fuselage, trace, plural, body, high-tail, body part, go after, stabilizer, fluke, run down, flag, skeg, tree, ending, top, back, end, pinch, follow, escutcheon, chase after, head, cut, hound, outgrowth, butt



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