tail between one's legs

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From the body posture of a dog that is worried or frightened.


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tail between one's legs

  1. Defeated; in a cowardly or miserable manner.
    He came back home, tail between his legs.
    • 1919, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, chapter XV, in The Moon and Sixpence, [New York, N.Y.]: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers [], →OCLC:
      "I wouldn't do that," said Mrs. MacAndrew. "I'd give him all the rope he wants. He'll come back with his tail between his legs and settle down again quite comfortably."
    • 2023 February 27, Elle Hunt, quoting Kelsey Grammer, “‘Don’t make Frasier best friends with Elon Musk!’ Writers and comics offer their reboot tips”, in The Guardian[1], →ISSN:
      After 11 seasons set in Seattle [] Frasier is returning to Boston, to reconquer his old Cheers-era stomping ground. “He left with his tail between his legs a little bit,” Grammer said in a recent interview.
  2. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see tail,‎ between,‎ one's,‎ legs.


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