sting in the tail

sting in the tail

A disappointing ending to something, such as a story, that is otherwise upbeat and positive. The movie began as a sweet, romantic love story, so the tragic ending was an unexpected sting in the tail.
See also: sting, tail

a sting in the tail

BRITISH
COMMON If something such as a remark or a plan has a sting in the tail, it seems good at first but contains an unpleasant part at the end. Even the remark about Chomsky being `arguably the most important intellectual alive' had a sting in its tail. The sentence went on: `how can he write such nonsense about international affairs?' The increased tax rate was an unexpected sting in the tail in an otherwise acceptable Budget. Note: This is a reference to a scorpion, which is small and looks harmless, but has a poisonous sting in its tail.
See also: sting, tail

sting in the tail

an unpleasant or problematic end to something.
1992 Ronald Wright Stolen Continents At last Hendrick came to the sting in the tail of his speech.
See also: sting, tail

a ˌsting in the ˈtail

(informal) an unpleasant feature that comes at the end of a story, an event, etc: Roald Dahl’s stories often have a sting in the tail; that’s why I like them.
See also: sting, tail
References in periodicals archive ?
RUGBY UNION Sting in the tail painful as Bees lose TONBRIDGE 22 B'HAM & SOLIHULL 19 By WILF ALEXANDER mail.sport@birminghammail.co.uk FOR those of a positive disposition, the Bees' pint glass was certainly half full after a slender opening-day defeat at Tonbridge Juddians.
However, the sting in the tail is that the Government is making no extra funding available to pay for this announcement.
There was a sting in the tail for Milczarek as she was found guilty of careless riding after the winner drifted right in the closing stages.
And the Northern Irishman will be hoping there's no sting in the tail for the Europeans when the action starts.
The concerts, brought to Turkey by Unilife Entertainment, are part of the band's "Final Sting World Tour 2012," which comes on the heels of "Sting in the Tail," the Scorpions' 17th studio album, released in March 2010.
LOTTERY OF LOVE Love can be swift, As a bird on a wing, Or creep up on you, To make your heart sing, It can also have a sting in the tail, When that love is one-sided, And so doomed to fail!
But there was a sting in the tail for the Italian as he injured his left thigh with an awkward landing.
STING IN THE TAIL: The scorpion that stung a shop worker after he discovered it in a box of bananas
Sting in the tail: Charlie MacDonald, Live Football League
The Dragons looked to be sailing into the last four of the EDF Energy National Trophyas tries from Jonathan Mills and Paul Doran Jones helped them open up an 18 point lead, but this would prove the proverbial game of two halves, with a painful sting in the tail for Welsh as they were beaten 27-21.
Although HBOS might be trying to help its four million credit card customers by allowing them to make a minimum payment of only one per cent on their outstanding balances, Simeon Linstead of price comparison site uSwitch.com is warning that there could be a sting in the tail.
You'd think they'd send her off with a happy storyline after everything the girl has gone through, but the sting in the tail is when her house is burgled.
Freedman popped up with his second in the 86th minute - but there was a late sting in the tail.
But there was to be a sting in the tail. Liam Cockerill brought down Iyseden Christie in the box, and Atieno slid home the spot-kick before powering home a last-minute headed winner for the home side.
So perhaps the lavender is the real sting in the tail after all.