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That detail or incident reminds one of another story, as in So he went without supper, but thereby hangs a tale. This expression, embodying the pun on tail and tale, was used by Shakespeare in at least four of his plays and presumably was well known before that. [ 1500s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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