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

(redirected from with his tail between his legs)
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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: between, leg, tail
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: between, leg, tail
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tail between one's legs, with one's

Dejected, cowed, ashamed, especially after a defeat or being proven wrong. For example, After bragging about her great musical ability, she lost the competition and went off with her tail between her legs . This idiom alludes to a dog's slinking away in this manner. [First half of 1800s]
See also: between, tail
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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: between, leg, tail
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

with your tail between your legs

in a state of dejection or humiliation. informal
See also: between, leg, tail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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: between, leg, tail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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

In a state of humiliation or dejection.
See also: between, leg, tail
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

with one's tail between one's legs, (to go off with)

With a feeling of shame or embarrassment. The expression alludes to a dog that slinks off in defeat, a usage dating from about 1400. The transfer to human beings had taken place by the 1800s. W. E. Norris used it in Thirlby Hall (1884), “We shall have you back here very soon . . . with your tail between your legs.” The French have an identical phrase, s’en aller la queue entre les jambes.
See also: between, go, off, tail
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
"Humph," grumbled the Fox as he walked away with his tail between his legs; but he spoke in a low growl
He'll come back with his tail between his legs and settle down again quite comfortably." Mrs.
He came skulking into camp like a beaten cur, with his tail between his legs. All his finery was gone; he was naked as when he was born, with the exception of a scanty flap that answered the purpose of a fig leaf.
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.
One thing is for sure, if Judy Murray had been in charge of the GB team, he would have faced the wrath of the Scottish tongue and disappeared with his tail between his legs.
Ireland v Scotland Group D, tomorrow, 5pm ROY KEANE has vowed to send Gordon Strachan back to Scotland with his tail between his legs.
Smith (above) last left these shores with his tail between his legs after our 3-0 Ashes victory.
Donnelly returned with his tail between his legs to see out his career in Scotland yet he's convinced Goodwillie will soon be starring down south.
Although, within other areas of the UK, the electorate gave their response to the campaigning of other failed MPs, all vying for the PS100,000 position of police commissioner, and in the case of John Prescott, he was sent with his tail between his legs, elsewhere, the regions had to tolerate failed MPs accessing another gravy train.
Is this the same Roberto Mancini who brought Inter Milan to Anfield two seasons ago but left with his tail between his legs after being completely out-coached by Rafa Benitez?
Campbell was substituted at half-time during the 3-2 defeat against West Ham and chose to head off home with his tail between his legs rather than watch the rest of the game.
The one-time pounds 8million man returned to Charlton yesterday with his tail between his legs after a disastrous five-month loan spell without a goal.
Justin Leonard left Ireland with his tail between his legs after shooting 150 over the weekend in the AmEx, but even without that I would have fancied Scott Verplank, fourth and seventh in Vegas on two of three latest visits, to beat him at 6-5 as Justin has posted only two top-tens in a barren year.
After the collapse of his trial last year, Burrell should have left the country with his tail between his legs and the offers of lucrative national newspaper articles, TV interviews and public speaking events were deals he should have ignored, but he welcomed them eagerly.
In three weeks, we have seen the embattled Transport Secretary make three appearances before the Commons with his tail between his legs.