The men of Kent are born with tails, as a punishment for the murder of Thomas á Becket. (Lambert: Peramb.) (See the Spectator, 173.)
“For Becket's sake, Kent always shall have tails.”
The Niam-niams of Africa are tailed, so we are told.
The Chinese men were made to shave their heads and wear a queue or tail by the Manchu Tartars, who, in the seventeenth century, subdued the country, and compelled the men to adopt the Manchu dress. The women were allowed to compress their feet as before, although the custom is not adopted by the Tartars.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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