Tow vs. Toe the Line

Posted by R. Berg on January 04, 2002

In Reply to: Tow vs. Toe the Line posted by Mike Portwood on January 04, 2002

: I've seen this phrase used in both forms on web sites, in articles, books, brochures, etc. I know from
: discussions/histories that 'toe' is the original form, but observe that both "toe the line" and "tow the line" have basically
: the same application and meanings when used. My question is, "officially"...and I realize that could vary from
: authority to authority...are both forms as used today considered correct and acceptable, or
: is using 'tow' instead of 'toe' only a sign of ignorance/poor usage?

: Regards,
: Mike

Unofficially, but in my strong opinion, it's only a sign of ignorance. "Toe the line" means to place your feet as prescribed. To tow a line would mean to drag it and doesn't call up any relevant image.