Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Salt on His Tail (Lay).

 Salt Losing its Savour.Saltarello, 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Salt on His Tail (Lay).
Catch or apprehend him. The phrase is based on the direction given to small children to lay salt on a bird’s tail if they want to catch it.   1
        “His intelligence is so good, that were you to come near him with soldiers or constables, … I shall answer for it you will never lay salt on his tail.”—Sir W. Scott: Redgauntlet, chap. xi.

 Salt Losing its Savour.Saltarello, 


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