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

(redirected from tails between their 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 ?
On hearing this, the two Donkeys bowed their heads in shame, dropped their ears, and put their tails between their legs.
They came, snarling and slinking, their tails between their legs.
On many a high-leafed oak and thick pine he falls and brings them to the bounteous earth in mountain glens: then all the immense wood roars and the beasts shudder and put their tails between their legs, even those whose hide is covered with fur; for with his bitter blast he blows even through them although they are shaggy-breasted.
Preston 6 Carlisle 1 CARLISLE'S assistant manager Davie Irons admits they left Deepdale with their tails between their legs after this thumping.
THE pooches that 101 Dalmations baddie Cruella De Vil is on her way to visit could be forgiven for tucking their tails between their legs.
And the Hoops fans - who had partied when Barca were sent home with their tails between their legs - were left distraught as wily old Andrea Pirlo lapped up another night of Euro glory.
It certainly isn't impossible that tomorrow the French will leave the field whipped, their Gallic tails between their legs.
Lazio, Inter and Atalanta are three of the sides to have been sent packing from Palermo with their tails between their legs and while Milan are the best team to have visited this season they are a bit too short at 5-6.
MY highlight of the season has to be seeing Tom Hicks and George Gillett sent packing with their tails between their legs.
Last time the Tigers travelled to Headingley, they came away with their tails between their legs on the back of a 76-12 defeat.
Street were aiming for their fourth successive away win, but left North Yorkshire with their tails between their legs following an unimpressive display in which they never really clicked into gear.
If there was conflict in this country today they would turn and run with their tails between their legs like the cowards they are.
City were sent home with their tails between their legs after the League One side came through 5-3 on penalties after a dramatic 2-2 draw last night.
A win and Austria are in the last eight, with Germany heading across the border with their tails between their legs again.
Of the Croke Park triumph, he said, "A lot of the Welsh players have come to Dublin in the past and they have been sent packing with their tails between their legs.