get off one's tail(redirected from on one's tail)
get off (one's) tail
1. To stop following directly behind one, especially in a car. I wish this guy would get off my tail! I'm going the speed limit, for crying out loud! Get off my tail, Jim—you keep bumping into me!
2. By extension, to stop pestering or closely observing one. The boss keeps checking in every half hour to see how the project is coming along. I wish he would get off our tail! Would you get off my tail, kids? I'm trying to concentrate here.
3. To stop being idle, lazy, or unproductive. Taken literally, the phrase means to stand up (to be "on (one's) tail" means to be sitting). You need to get off your tail and go find a job! I know I should get off my tail and go exercise, but I'm always so tired at the end of the day.
get off one's tail
Also, get off one's butt. Stop loafing and start doing something. For example, Get off your tail and help your mother, or I should get off my butt, but I'm exhausted. Neither slangy expression, with its allusion to the buttocks, is considered polite.