phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Hightail

Posted by ESC on August 28, 2000

In Reply to: High tail (ing) it posted by Strat-O-Bender on August 28, 2000

: I know what 'high-tailing' means, M-W has it as follows:
: ---------------------------------------------------
: High*tail (verb intransitive)

: First appeared 1925

: : to move at full speed or rapidly often in making
: a retreat -- usu. used with it
: -------------------------------------------------
: ...but what is the origin for the phrase ?
: Thanks. JJ

I thought it referred to deer. But this says:

"HIGHTAIL -- a slang expression meaning 'to leave in a great hurry,' is a Western expression and was originally used to describe the way a herd of mustangs will break and race away when 'spooked' or frightened by the approach of cowboys." From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).