Touch his forelock - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
touch (one's) forelock (redirected from touch his forelock)
touch (one's) forelock
To show excessive deference toward someone in a superior position. An allusion to the former act of pulling one's frontmost hair in lieu of having a hat to tip. I hate being in meetings with the CEO because then I have to witness all of the regional managers touching their forelocks like fawning sycophants.
touch (or tug) your forelock raise a hand to your forehead in deference when meeting a person of higher social rank.
touch/tug your ˈforelock (disapproving) show too much respect for a person of a higher rank or status: This is a democratic country and we don’t want people tugging their forelocks.In the past, people either took off their hats or pulled on their forelocks (= the hair above the forehead) to show respect.
References in periodicals archive
For two tedious hours, obsequious Mike resisted the temptation to touch his forelock
as his favourite-ever guests bade him an emotional farewell.
He was in awe of the Geordie who ran the dressing-room at Ewood but now needs to touch his forelock
Any Scot who is told to touch his forelock
and accept with humble gratitude whatever crumbs the great and the good see fit to hand down, will have a few words to say on the mater.