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May 14, 2021
This week’s theme
Shirts

This week’s words
unshirted
arrow-collar
button-down
sleeveless
shirttail

shirttail
Shirttails at Hendrix College

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

shirttail

PRONUNCIATION:
(SHUHRT-tayl)

MEANING:
noun:1. The part of a shirt reaching below the waist, especially in the back.
 2. A brief item added at the end of a newspaper article.
 3. Something small or unimportant.
adjective:1. Very young or immature.
 2. Very small or trivial.
 3. Distantly related.

ETYMOLOGY:
From shirt, from Old English scyrte (shirt) + tail, from Old English toegl (tail). Earliest documented use: 1659. Also see coattail.

USAGE:
“Your mother thinks I’m a damned old idiot to give a shirttail boy a gun that’s just about as tall as the boy is.”
Robert Ruark; Old Man’s Boy Grows Up; Hamish Hamilton; 1962.

“It was a good place to live back then, back when Hollywood was just a shirttail country town on the interurban line.”
Grover Lewis, Dave Hickey, Robert Draper; Splendor in the Short Grass; University of Texas Press; 2005.

“A previously unknown species of sea lily has turned up ... a shirttail cousin to the starfish.”
Science Notebook; Science News (Washington, DC); Oct 8, 2011.

See more usage examples of shirttail in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet. -Hal Borland, author and journalist (14 May 1900-1978)

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