Meaning of touch one's forelock in English:

touch one's forelock


(also tug one's forelock)
  • Raise a hand to one's forehead in deference when meeting a person of higher social rank.

    ‘Scotland is just seen as great for shooting, golf and tugging your forelock, which is why so many get out.’
    • ‘I was too busy tugging my forelock to pull her up on it, I really hate being rude to nice people.’
    • ‘In the 21st century it should not be a case of expecting employees to just tug their forelock and tow the line.’
    • ‘Not many country people now tug their forelock at the sight of a member of the House of Lords, unless, that is, they happen to owe them money.’
    • ‘But as hunting has come under more pressure in recent years, hunters have realised it is no longer enough to rely on tradition and our natural reflex to tug our forelock to our betters.’
    • ‘I dream of living in a republic, where we can all hold our heads high and the urge to tug our forelock or doff our cap when we hear those twangy upper-class vowels becomes a thing of the past.’
    • ‘‘I have never been brought up to doff my cap or tug my forelock,’ she says with steely assertion.’
    • ‘He touched his forelock as though in salute and watched as she tripped daintily out of the stables, lifting her skirts an inch or two so as not to muddy them.’
    • ‘The consumer culture didn't require you to tug your forelock and look deserving when you approached the till.’
    • ‘Just shut up and hand over your money, like a good peasant, and don't forget to tug your forelock.’