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.
See also: forelock, touch

touch (or tug) your forelock

raise a hand to your forehead in deference when meeting a person of higher social rank.
See also: forelock, touch

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.
See also: forelock, touch, tug
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 no more.
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.