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shavetail

[sheyv-teyl] /ˈʃeɪvˌteɪl/
noun, Slang.
1.
U.S. Army. a second lieutenant.
2.
a young, newly broken mule.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50, Americanism; shave + tail1; orig. in reference to unbroken army mules, whose tails were shaved for identification
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shavetail
  • That's where you start, second lieutenant, shavetail.
Slang definitions & phrases for shavetail

shavetail

noun

A second lieutenant, esp a newly commissioned one

[1891+ Army; perhaps fr an early 1800s sense, ''unbroken Army mule''; perhaps also fr the fact that a newly commissioned officer might have shoulder straps made with material cut off the shirt-tail]


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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