tag-rag and bobtail

An expression meaning an assemblage of low people, the mobility of all sorts.

To tag after one like a tantony pig : to follow one wherever one goes, just as St. Anthony is followed by his pig.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

In relation to trucking a bobtail is a tractor without a trailer attached. The term is linked to the definition of an animal with a short or non-existent tail. A tractor sans trailer has no tail a'tall.

One thing to consider when following a bobtail is that it cannot stop as well on wet pavement as a tractor trailer. The lighter weight coupled with the shorter wheel base makes it inherently less stable than a full tractor trailer. Also, the brakes on the tractor are designed to help stop a rig weighing 80,000 pounds. The tractor alone weighs about 18,000 pounds. The brakes will tend to 'lock up', causing the tractor to slide when severe braking is applied.

Bob"tail` (?), n. [Bob + tail.]

An animal (as a horse or dog) with a short tail.

Rag, tag, and bobtail, the rabble.


© Webster 1913.

Bob"tail`, a.


"Bobtail cur."



© Webster 1913.

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