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Re: Kids in tow

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 25, 2005

In Reply to: Kids in tow posted by Kidsintow on April 25, 2005

: I'm wondering about the meaning of "kids in tow."

: Does it refer specifically to younger childer? Was its origin from getting goats organized? Any info on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

:It's nothing to do with goats. "In tow" is a nautical metaphor; if you encounter a boat whose engines have failed, and pass a rope to tow it back to harbour, you "take it in tow", and as long as you are towing it you "have it in tow".

In a metaphorical sense, anyone or anything that you have charge of and are leading around can be said to be "in tow": children, country cousins, a party of schoolchildren, a Japanese trade delegation, anything like that.