thereby hangs a tale

Idioms & Phrases

thereby hangs a tale

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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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