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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2017-02-12 17:22:00

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1213

"hot tail" for "hightail"

To “hightail it” is to run quickly, especially when fleeing danger. It refers to some species’ habit of raising the tail when fleeing. In some cases, such as white-tail deer, the underside of the tail has evolved a bright color to serve as a warning flag to the animal’s herd. Perhaps in some cases the tail of a fleeing animal is raised to make way for the poop that may be expected to emerge when panicked.

Now, how about this one I recently encountered?

we could give them a few minutes time to grab a suitcase, a bus ticket and hot tail it out to another Sanctuary city.
Nextdoor discussion

I find the image of a critter running fast due to its tail having just been burned very eggcornically satisfying. As with the acorn “hightail”, danger need not always be present; the term can refer to running fast for any reason.

When traveling south I’d hot tail it out of there to the Gare de Lyon for a spot of lunch while waiting for my connecting train.
Dover discussion

What does “hot-tail it home” mean in the following context?
“The flour and cocoa are a lost cause but I pick myself, the broken paper packets, and the bottle of vanilla off the tarmac, pause just to straighten my handlebars, and hot-tail it home to examine the damage to the bicycle and my person…”
language discussion

If your idea of a good night out is singing along to Ally Bally Bee then hot-tail it to the box office.
theater review

Why it’s Old Hickory himself, the foremost Deporter-in-Chief, making sure those pesky Cherokees hot tail it down the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.
discussion thread

It becomes apparent quickly that a bullet is a bee-sting to the Bakers and your only option is to hot tail it and find a suitable hiding space.
game review



#2 2017-02-16 21:51:29

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2551

Re: "hot tail" for "hightail"

Seems like it could be a blend of the verbs “hotfoot” (meaning “to go hastily”) and “hightail.”

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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