How Did the Term “Hightailing It” For a Hasty Exit Originate and What Does Hightail Mean?

When people leave in a frantic hurry, they are “hightailing it.”

The expression grew out of America’s Old West after cowboys noticed that both wild horses and deer would jerk their tails up high when frightened as they dashed to safety.

The lifting of the tail by both animals was a signal to the rest of the herd that humans, and therefore danger, were near and that the creatures needed to run for their lives.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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