Long Tail

Cut and long tail. One and another, all of every description. The phrase had its origin in the practice of cutting the tails of certain dogs and horses, and leaving others in their natural state, so that cut and long tail horses or dogs included all the species. Master Slender says he will maintain Anna Page like a gentlewoman. “Ah!” says he-

“That I will, come cut and long tail under the degree of a squire [i.e. as well as any man can who is not a squire].” —Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, iii. 4.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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