grab your forelocks and give them a good old tug

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Daffodil100

Senior Member
Chinese
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    From Cambridge: tug at/touch your forelock: to show respect to someone in a higher position than you in a way that seems old-fashioned.

    From panjandrum: 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.
     

    Daffodil100

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you very much for your replies. Interesting custom.:D



    Tugging one's forelocks was a practice carried out by the lower orders in society when meeting a 'superior' person. It means pulling the front of the hair and inclining the head. This was for men only.
    Why did the journalist say "ladies and gentlemen" if it is for men only?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Since the custom is outdated, you can use the expression in any amusing way you like -- which he apparently has.
     
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