forelock

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take time by the forelock

To act decisively; to accept an opportunity without hesitation. If time is pictured with just a forelock of hair, then it can only be grabbed as it comes toward you, not as it leaves. What are you waiting for? Take time by the forelock and accept that fantastic internship! My anxiety usually keeps me from taking time by the forelock.
See also: by, forelock, take, time

forelock-tugging

A show of excessive deference toward someone in a superior position. I hate being in meetings with the CEO because then I have to witness all of the managers' forelock-tugging.

touch (one's) forelock

To show excessive deference toward someone in a superior position. An allusion to the former act of pulling one's frontmost hair in lieu of having a hat to tip. I hate being in meetings with the CEO because then I have to witness all of the regional managers touching their forelocks like fawning sycophants.
See also: forelock, touch

tug (one's) forelock

To show excessive deference toward someone in a superior position. An allusion to the former act of pulling one's frontmost hair in lieu of having a hat to tip. I hate being in meetings with the CEO because then I have to witness all of the regional managers tugging their forelocks like fawning sycophants.
See also: forelock, tug

tug your forelock

BRITISH
If someone tugs their forelock, they show a lot of respect to someone in a high social position. I don't know how you can stand bowing and scraping and tugging your forelock to all those rich old crones. Note: You can also say that someone touches their forelock. A lot of people seem to think we're supposed to go round touching our forelock and scraping our heads against the floor. We're not. Note: You can refer to this kind of behaviour as forelock-tugging or forelock-touching. The idea of forelock-tugging is totally alien to us, as is the idea that some people are born to rule. Note: These expressions are used to show that the speaker thinks that too much respect is being shown. Note: A forelock is a lock of hair that falls over a person's forehead. In the past, it was customary for lower class people to remove their hats in front of upper class people. If they were not wearing a hat, they touched their forelock instead.
See also: forelock, tug

take time by the forelock

seize an opportunity. literary
The Latin writer Phaedrus described Opportunity or Occasion as being bald except for a long forelock, a personification that was illustrated in Renaissance emblem books and was applied also to Time.
See also: by, forelock, take, time

touch (or tug) your forelock

raise a hand to your forehead in deference when meeting a person of higher social rank.
See also: forelock, touch

touch/tug your ˈforelock

(disapproving) show too much respect for a person of a higher rank or status: This is a democratic country and we don’t want people tugging their forelocks.In the past, people either took off their hats or pulled on their forelocks (= the hair above the forehead) to show respect.
See also: forelock, touch, tug
References in periodicals archive ?
wrote to the garrison cities (arnsa r) that their forelocks be docked, meaning the Christians.
Why should I tug my forelock by calling someone "Lord this" or "Sir that"?
Splotch mice have several Waardenburg's traits, including white forelocks and small, widely spaced eyes.
Those physically capable of doing so immediately bent the knee before him, touching forelocks (those who had enough forelock to touch).
No doubt, if the duke keeps putting his weight behind the application, the regulators will eventually tug their forelocks and defer to his wishes, just as they have with his equally unpopular developments at Beadnell and The Braid at Amble.
Meanwhile, it's good to see Labour touching their forelocks to the Queen and making sure only Royals have the right to roam over bonny Balmoral.
I would suggest respectfully that it is he and not me who is doing that by clinging on for dear life to the dying imperialism represented by the Union Flag and those who kow-tow and tug forelocks to its ancient over-privileged hierarchy.
The two Muslim girls in their hijabs couldn't help staring in astonishment at the blonde showing off more than just her forelocks at the event in the Middle East.
Tugged forelocks,doffed caps and knowing your place in society are largely alien to the 21st Century.
If the great Merseytravel decides that this is right for us, we should just touch our forelocks and agree with it
Cameron wants us to pay up, shut up and tug our forelocks whilst the lords of the manor live in luxury.
Sparrow decorated his testimonial season with two goals to sink Millwall at Wembley in the League One play-off final - and insisted the Glanford Park minnows will not be tugging their forelocks for Alan Shearer.
Maybe too many people have tugged their forelocks to the prince over the years and he believes we should all be taught to be subservient to him.
The people of Wales would never respect a leader who expected them to tug their forelocks.