coattail

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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 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 ?
18) Campbell shows that in state legislative races in presidential election years, the winning President's party benefits from his coattails, but in midterm elections the President's party suffers losses in state legislative races that approximately cancel out the gains from his coattails.
Pataki's coattails to mount a campaign to unseat McCall.
Thermoelectric studies rode on the coattails of the burgeoning semiconductor research, since thermoelectric materials and semiconductors share many of the same characteristics.
Furthermore, I would really like to see JNPR rally of its own accord, and not on the coattails of CSCO.
And Lewandowski added a third from the spot to keep them on Arsenal's coattails at the top of Group F.
7008 * LEATHER WEDGE, "Air Gilda OT" in sandalwood by Cole Haan, $198; CoatTails, 111W.
I have no doubt that he was the best player in the field, and for me, it was a lot of riding his coattails, trying to keep encouraging him to keep it going, because he played some great golf," he said.
Wolfgang is obviously trying to revive his sagging career and get press for himself by riding Heidi's coattails," the New York Post quoted spokesperson for Klum as saying.
It's all about the money and tiding his coattails to stardom.
And we shouldn't forget the possible future costs of attacks committed by the terrorists who entered this country on the coattails of the illegal immigrants and who are now embedded in our society.
They're also trying to link Hopkins as an opportunist, riding the coattails of Lynn Swan, the NFL Hall of Famer who's running as a Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania governor's chair.
Roller Babes" rides the coattails of a Roller Derby resurrection, the new-aged sensation with 40 new all-girls' leagues dotting the USA, and a new A&E TV show scheduled.
One might expect a lounge singer or jazz quartet to emerge in such a setting, but on this ]light, choreographer David Parker burst onto the stage in top hat and coattails, tapping and singing an introduction to Dancemopolitan, a monthly cabaret-style dance performance presented by Dancenow/NYC.
Those hoping to move forward on the executive's coattails would begin taking reargaurd actions, while telling him how important his work is and what if will mean to the company.
Riding the coattails of Okwui Enwezor's postcolonialist Documenta II, they chose the catchy theme "Unplugged: Art as the Scene of Global Conflicts.