coattail

(redirected from coattails)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to coattails: ride coattails

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 (one's) coattails

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 governor's coattails for the last two years, but once her term ends you'll be on your own. Jonathan rode on the famous professor's coattails to get some recognition for his own work from several esteemed academic journals.
See also: coattail, on, ride

ride (one's) coattails

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 the governor's coattails for the last two years, but once her term ends you'll be on your own. Jonathan rode the famous professor's coattails to get some recognition for his own work from several esteemed academic journals.
See also: coattail, ride

on the coattails of (someone)

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 coattails of the governor 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 riding on the coattails of his professor's research."
See also: coattail, of, 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

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 ?
Coattails and campaign cash aside, Merkley's victory was a stunning achievement for a state legislator and self-described policy wonk with little name recognition outside of Portland.
With its alluring subtitle, The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe, the latest addition to Thomas Cahill's "Hinges of History" series, Mysteries of the Middle Ages, may be accused of riding the coattails of The Da Vinci Code.
Arnold Schwarzenegger will likely win re-election handily, don't expect his coattails to bring any legislative Republicans with him to Sacramento.
The first theory of surge and decline holds that presidential midterm losses are explained mostly by the absence in those years of presidential coattails.
In February, he rode Lam's coattails to a triumph of his own, wringing a guilty plea from Cunningham co-conspirator Mitchell Wade, and could soon indict Brent Wilkes, another of Duke's cronies, say insiders.
Problem is, Bernhard was brought in under Pischetsrieder and we all know what happens when you ride the coattails of someone who loses his coat.
The Easter Road outfit strolled to an easy 3-1 win over Dundee United to keep on Rangers' coattails in the race for Europe.
She informs us that this is because she wants to make it on her own - and not on the coattails of some mere mover and shaker.
We grab coattails, donkey tails, or anything else we can get a hand on.
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.
We invest our belief, time and money to promote our artists in this industry just to find someone hanging on to your coattails.
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.