with (one's) tail between (one's) legs

(redirected from tail between his legs)

with (one's) tail between (one's) legs

Displaying embarrassment or shame, especially after losing or having to admit that one was wrong. Likened to a dog literally putting its tail between its legs after being disciplined. Poor Jeff left the meeting with his tail between his legs after being called out on all his miscalculations. The former star walked off, with tail between legs, after striking out for the third time.
See also: leg, tail

with one's tail between one's legs

Fig. appearing frightened or cowardly. (Fig. on the image of a frightened or defeated dog going off threatened or humiliated.) John seems to lack courage. When people criticize him unjustly, he just goes away with his tail between his legs and doesn't tell them that they're wrong. The frightened dog ran away with its tail between its legs when the bigger dog growled.
See also: leg, tail

with your tail between your legs

If someone goes somewhere with their tail between their legs, they go there feeling very ashamed or embarrassed. I ran out of money, lost my job, my house, my girlfriend. I came home to Sydney with my tail between my legs. When Emma had left America last, it had been with her tail between her legs. Note: Dogs often go off with their tails down when they have been hit or shouted at.
See also: leg, tail

with your tail between your legs

in a state of dejection or humiliation. informal
See also: leg, tail

with your tail between your ˈlegs

(informal) feeling ashamed, embarrassed or unhappy because you have been defeated or punished: They thought they would win easily, but they’ve gone home with their tails between their legs.
This idiom refers to the way a dog behaves when it is punished.
See also: leg, tail

with (one's) tail between (one's) legs

In a state of humiliation or dejection.
See also: leg, tail
References in classic literature ?
When the fox felt the first string, he started so that he one leg, from pain, but he bore it, and still kept his tail high in the air; at the second sting, he was forced to put it down for a moment; at the third, he could hold out no longer, screamed, and put his tail between his legs.
But I am going now to keep a sharp look-out on him; and if I see anything very suspicious going on, I'll just take him by the nape of his neck, and say --Look here, Beelzebub, you don't do it; and if he makes any fuss, by the Lord I'll make a grab into his pocket for his tail, take it to the capstan, and give him such a wrenching and heaving, that his tail will come short off at the stump --do you see; and then, I rather guess when he finds himself docked in that queer fashion, he'll sneak off without the poor satisfaction of feeling his tail between his legs.
Toto howeled a little as the assortment of bake stuff struck him; but he stood still, with head bowed and tail between his legs, until Dorothy ran up and inquired what the matter was.
He'll come back with his tail between his legs and settle down again quite comfortably.
I had been calling Nobs in the meantime and was about to set out in search of him, fearing, to tell the truth, to do so lest I find him mangled and dead among the trees of the acacia grove, when he suddenly emerged from among the boles, his ears flattened, his tail between his legs and his body screwed into a suppliant S.
He came skulking into camp like a beaten cur, with his tail between his legs.
Toward the last he put his tail between his legs and fled from our gibing like a beaten cur.
There was doubt in his mind that some note of the approaching blacks vibrating with fear had struck an answering chord in the nervous system of the panther, sending him slinking through the jungle, his tail between his legs.
Toto had run on ahead, frisking playfully, when suddenly he uttered a sharp bark of fear and came running back to them with his tail between his legs, as dogs do when they are frightened.
So he followed morosely at Beauty Smith's heels, his tail between his legs, yet snarling softly under his breath.
and the stone lion, which stood at the door, with lowered head and tail between his legs, like the lions on the throne of Solomon, in the humiliated attitude which befits force in the presence of justice?
Later, Max visits Lauren with his tail between his legs and says he understands their decision but Lauren panics when she realises he has been trying to extract information out of her.
Meanwhile, after losing it and punching Peter, Billy calls at the Rovers, tail between his legs, to apologise.
Smith (above) last left these shores with his tail between his legs after our 3-0 Ashes victory.
And I would put money on the fact that he will be coming back to me with his tail between his legs," she added.