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rat-tail

[rat-teyl] /ˈrætˌteɪl/
noun
1.
grenadier (def 4).
Origin of rat-tail
1695-1705
1695-1705

grenadier

[gren-uh-deer] /ˌgrɛn əˈdɪər/
noun
1.
(in the British army) a member of the first regiment of household infantry (Grenadier Guards)
2.
(formerly) a specially selected foot soldier in certain elite units.
3.
(formerly) a soldier who threw grenades.
4.
Also called rat-tail, rat tail. any of several deep-sea fishes of the family Macrouridae, having an elongated, tapering tail.
Origin
1670-80; < French; see grenade, -ier2
Related forms
grenadierial, adjective
grenadierly, adverb
grenadiership, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for rat tail

grenadier

/ˌɡrɛnəˈdɪə/
noun
1.
(military)
  1. (in the British Army) a member of the senior regiment of infantry in the Household Brigade
  2. (formerly) a member of a special formation, usually selected for strength and height
  3. (formerly) a soldier trained to throw grenades
2.
Also called rat-tail. any deep-sea gadoid fish of the family Macrouridae, typically having a large head and trunk and a long tapering tail
3.
any of various African weaverbirds of the genus Estrilda See waxbill
Word Origin
C17: from French; see grenade

rat-tail

noun
1.
another name for grenadier (sense 2)
2.
  1. a horse's tail that has no hairs
  2. a horse having such a tail
3.
a style of spoon in which the line of the handle is prolonged in a tapering moulding along the back of the bowl
4.
a kind of woodworking or metalworking file
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 rat tail

grenadier

n.

1670s, originally a word for soldiers "who were dexterous in flinging hand-granados" [Evelyn], from French grenadier (15c.), from Middle French grenade "grenade" (see grenade); later "the tallest and finest men in the regiment" [OED].

rat-tail

n.

also rat's-tail, used since 16c. of conditions or devices he;d to resemble a rat's long, hairless tail in some sense, including "lank lock of hair" (1810); "end of a rope" (1867); from rat (n.) + tail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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