on the coattails of (someone)

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Related to on the coattails: ride on coattails

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."
See also: coattail, of, on

on the coat-tails of someone/something

COMMON If someone does something on the coat-tails of another person or an achievement, they are able to do it because of the success or popularity of that person or achievement, and not because of their own efforts. Note: `Coat-tails' is usually written as `coattails' in American English. Some say she achieved fame and glory on the coat-tails of her husband. He returned to politics on the coattails of Richard Nixon in 1968. Note: You can also say that someone or something rides on the coat-tails of someone or something. It's a lesson for all of those who ride on the coat-tails of people with talent. Note: A tail coat is a man's coat with the front covering only the top half of the body and the back reaching down to the knees in a pointed `tail'. It is now usually worn only for formal weddings, or as part of formal evening dress.
See also: of, on, someone, something

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