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ride (on) the coattails of (someone)

To benefit from someone else's success; to use someone else's success as a means to achieve one's own. Everyone knows you've been riding on the coattails of the governor these last two years, but once her term ends, you'll be on your own! Jonathan rode the coattails of his professor to get some recognition for his own work in several esteemed academic journals.
See also: coattail, of, ride

on (one's) coattails

Benefiting from someone else's success; using someone else's success as a means to achieve one's own. Everyone knows you've been on the governor's coattails these last two years, but once her term ends, you'll be on your own. A: "I can't believe Jonathan got his paper published in that prestigious journal." B: "Oh, it's only because he's on his professor's coattails."
See also: coattail, on

ride on someone's coattails

 and hang on someone's coattails
Fig. to make one's good fortune or success on the strength of someone else's. (Also with else, as in the examples.) Bill isn't very creative, so he rides on John's coattails. Some people just have to hang on somebody else's coattails.
See also: coattail, on, ride

ride somebody's coattails

also ride the coattails of somebody
to use your connection with someone successful to achieve success yourself I don't think she would get promoted without riding her boss's coattails. My opponent is riding the coattails of the popular governor of Massachusetts.
See also: coattail, ride

on someone's coattails

Also, on the coattails of. Owing to another person's popularity or merits. For example, He won the cabinet post by hanging on the senator's coattails, or He was elected to office on the coattails of the governor. This expression, with its graphic image, dates from the mid-1800s, when coats with tails were in fashion.
See also: coattail, on

on the coattails of

1. As a result of the success of another: elected to office on the coattails of a popular governor.
2. Immediately following or as a direct result of: resigned on the coattails of the scandal.
See also: coattail, of, on
References in periodicals archive ?
What has not been adequately recognized in the scholarly literature is that the changes in control in the gubernatorial off-year elections are indeed larger than any coattail effect in the presidential election year, largely because only eleven small states elect their governors at the same time as they vote for President.
The Coattail Riders are touring on a far less grand scale than the Foo Fighters, which is led by ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and headlines festivals and stadiums worldwide.
The Supplement will include a copy of an amended interim court order providing for the voting procedure to approve the New Goldcorp Stock Option Plan, additional information relating to the coattails attached to shares of CSA and Goldcorp and an expanded discussion of the deliberations of the Independent Committees of both Goldcorp and CSA.
RBC DS") has updated the November, 1993 valuation and fairness opinion it made in connection with MCII's original offer of November 11 to take account of the coattail provisions and events occurring since November.
But because the civil rights movement resonates with moral authority, it has everyone grabbing at its coattails.
Seldom does one find such a varied host of allusions--ranging from Agnes Pelton to Arthur Dove to Richard Hamilton to Hannah Hoch--but Dowell neither buries his references nor looks to ride their coattails.
Johan, for his part, feared that Patrick's immense success--he'd performed in the 1980 film Fame, long before Johan even considered a life in dance--could invite suspicion that Johan was riding his partner's coattails.
His reason in so doing was to deflect the mounting criticism of his nonexistent ``reasons'' which led the UK, tied to US coattails, into the Iraq war, and the real possibility of serious accusations of having acted illegally, resulting in the deaths of thousands.
After the mid-term elections, after the Democrats were whupped by themselves and by Bush's coattails, Nancy Pelosi of California was voted House Minority Leader.
I answered that I hoped to find an entrepreneur who was going to the top and hang on to his coattails, become his indispensable right-hand man.
Employers can safely ignore personal use when employees' personal flights ride on the coattails of regular business flights.
Admittedly, this is hard not to think of as "sucking up," but executives are promoted as well, and the communication professional can ride a former boss's coattails to advancement.
A number of smaller developers got in on the coattails of the larger ones and are now realizing they have to operate the facilities.
Riding on the coattails of this phenomenal growth in convenience breakfast foods are organic cereals, one of the most frequently purchased items by the one third of the U.
The deal sees Radius grabbing Microsoft's coattails, just as software juggernaut is setting out to dominate the UK local government sector with NT.