forelock tugging

Discussion in 'English Only' started by adais, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. adais New Member

    What does the above mean ? I know I have not got a context but lots of times this can happen. You see it in abstracts etc. I heard therefore and I quote : '' nobody is advocating a return to forelock tugging '' What the possible meanings of this exression could be ?
    (o.k. context: a discussion about lower standards of respect etc. for professionals such as doctors in today's Britain ... if that helps)
    Many thanks in advance
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Your forelock is a lock of hair, a tuft of hair, that falls over your forehead.

    Back in the days of long ago when there were servants and subservience, the lower classes would tug their forelocks or touch their forelocks as a sign of respect to their betters.

    A return to forelock-tugging would be a return to the days of unquestioning respect for someone purely on grounds of their apparent status in society. The doctor is right and we hold him in awe, because he is a doctor.
  3. adais New Member

    excellent ! such a complete reply !!
    Eternally gratefull PANJANDRUM. (what's this nickname?)
  4. pharabus Member

    I believe that the tugging of a forleock replaced the raising of a hat/cap as the wearing of them became less popular.

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