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fishtail

[fish-teyl] /ˈfɪʃˌteɪl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to swerve or skid from side to side, as the rear end of a car.
2.
to slow an airplane by causing its tail to move rapidly from side to side.
noun
3.
such a maneuver.
4.
a gas burner having two jets crossing each other so as to produce a flame resembling a fish's tail.
5.
a device having a long, narrow slot at the top, placed over a gas jet, as of a Bunsen burner, to give a thin, fanlike flame.
6.
Jewelry. a setting consisting of four prominent triangular corner prongs to hold the stone.
Origin
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English. See fish, tail1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fish-tail

fishtail

/ˈfɪʃˌteɪl/
noun
1.
an aeroplane manoeuvre in which the tail is moved from side to side to reduce speed
2.
a nozzle having a long narrow slot at the top, placed over a Bunsen burner to produce a thin fanlike flame
verb (intransitive)
3.
to slow an aeroplane by moving the tail from side to side
4.
to drive with the rear of the vehicle moving from side to side in an uncontrolled fashion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fish-tail

fishtail

n.

1840, from fish (n.) + tail (n.). As a verb, 1927, originally of aircraft, later automobiles. Related: Fishtailed; fishtailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fish-tail

fishtail

noun
  1. A women's dress or skirt style featuring a flare at the bottom (1950s+)
  2. Flaring rear fenders on a car (1950s+ Hot rodders)
verb

To swing a car, motorcycle, etc, from side to side at the rear: causing his rear wheels to spin or the rear end to fishtail, that is swing back and forth (1927+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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