forelock

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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.

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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Abu 1-asim al-Tabari said in Kirab al-Sunna: cUmar wrote to the garrison cities (anksar) that they dock their forelocks and not wear the Muslims' dress, in order that they be known.
Ibn 'Abd al-I-Jakam reports quite clearly that non-Muslims were to part their forelocks (mafray a1-na,.siya).
He said (gala): And they should be forbidden (wa-yunhaw) to part their hair, and they should clip (yazuzza) their forelocks, and tighten their belts (rnanatig) [several more ghiyar stipulations follow] for if [the Muslims] have authority over anyone of them who does one of these things after being informed [of them], any [Muslim] who finds him may despoil him.
Waardenburg -- has several hallmarks, including widely spaced eyes that are pinched at the inner corners, deafness, light blue or mismatched eye color, fused eyebrows, and a white forelock of hair.
A hearing mother with the Waardenburg's traits of a white forelock and widely spaced eyes, for example, can have a deaf son with widely spaced eyes and fused eyebrows, but no white forelock.
Cameron wants us to pay up, shut up and tug our forelocks whilst the lords of the manor live in luxury.
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.
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.
As we tugged our forelocks, we thought how nice it was that there was some good news at last for the Royal Family.
Understandably, those locals, unwilling to tug their forelocks to the young gentlemen, didn't much fancy being pushed around.
Instead of pomp, ceremony and touching of forelocks to unelected monarchs, a Declaration will be signed by all those present.
ENGLAND will concede that tugging forelocks is mightier than morality by confirming today that their winter one-day series in Zimbabwe WILL go ahead.
If more people publicly and loudly declined to bow and scrape and tug their forelocks at the behest of this insufferably arrogant family, then the country might finally dispel the stifling air of deference and subservience to our so-called betters which has kept us in a state resembling some medieval Ruritania for so long.
By hiring Sophie, Rover look like a part of Britain's bad old days when we couldn't see a royal without tugging our forelocks and crying: "God bless you, ma'am!"
'Wales is not a deferential country.We are not forelock tuggers, never have been, never will be.