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Alternative forms[edit]


From bang +‎ tail. The primary meaning refers to the sense bang (fringe of hair cut across the forehead).


bangtail (plural bangtails)

  1. The tail of a horse or cow, allowed to grow out and then trimmed horizontally so as to form a tassel; a horse or cow having such a tail.
    • 1851, Turning Out a Bagman: A Legend of Brighton Downs, in Charles Dickens, William Harrison Ainsworth, Albert Smith Bentley's Miscellany, Volume XXIX, page 259,
      Two lean, ewe-necked, clipt chestnuts, tucked up in the ribs, with hard work and bad feeding, but with such flowing bang-tails as at once stamped them in the eyes of our friends as “ out-and-out ” thorough-breds—were led up and down by John. [] The bang-tails, no doubt, supposing themselves out for their usual “airing,” put themselves in the regular side-long position, and struck at once into a sort of hectic canter ; a particular movement, peculiar to Brighton bang-tails, and adapted to the most innocent equestrian.
    • 1903, Tom Collins (Joseph Furphy), Such Is Life: Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins, 2004, page 68,
      "And did you see a dark chestnut horse; bang tail; star and snip; white hind feet; saddle and bridle on?" I asked.
    • 1913, John Galsworthy, The Dark Flower[1], page 244:
      Lennan held the black horse — a bizarre little beast, all fire and whipcord, with a skin like satin, liquid eyes, very straight hocks, and a thin bangtail reaching down to them.
    • 2005, Cynthia Queen, The Major's Renegade[2], page 127:
      Once we get the herd we can set up relays to keep the bangtails movin' as we go.
  2. (US) A racehorse.
    • 1934, Stanley Walker, City Editor, 1999, page 99,
      “Eddie!” whinnied Daley, the distraught worshipper of the bang-tails. “Eddie! Phar Lap is dead!”
    • 1937, The American Magazine, Volume 124, page 52,
      Americans bet $5,000,000,000 a year on the galloping bangtails.
    • 1983 March, Cincinnati Magazine, page 43,
      If you happen to be out on the far east side between April 23 and September 5, with $10 burning a hole in your pocket, hie yourself out to River Downs Race Track, 6301 Kellogg Avenue, and bet on the bangtails.
  3. (slang) A prostitute.
  4. (marketing) An envelope with a perforated flap on which promotional material is printed; the flap on such an envelope.


bangtail (third-person singular simple present bangtails, present participle bangtailing, simple past and past participle bangtailed)

  1. To shear off the hair horizontally at the end of a cow or horse's tail.

Derived terms[edit]