have the world by the tail
- have the world by the bag (vulgar), have the world by the balls (vulgar), have the world by the neck, have the world by the nuts (vulgar), have the world by the testicles, have the world on a string,
- (idiomatic) To possess great influence and opportunity.
1919, William MacLeod Raine, chapter 15, in A Man Four-Square:
- "Webb thinks he's got the world by the tail for a downhill pull. I'll show him."
- 1938 Feb. 28, "Give Us Colonies!!," Time (retrieved 7 August 2013):
- No nation had the World by the tail this week, but the rear end of the British lion was within measurable distance of Adolf Hitler's grasp.
- 1992 Sept. 24, Sara Rimer, "Company News: Hearing the Fears, With No Answers," New York Times (retrieved 7 August 2013):
- "You think you're set. You think everything's taken care of. I thought I had the world by the tail."
- Also appears in such similar phrases as grab the world by the tail, got the world by the tail.
- Often used in describing a situation in which a person possesses great, and perhaps excessive, self-confidence.