In Frank O'Connor's story "Peasants," Father Crowley says that he has
preached for years against the "long-tailed families" and that, now that one of them
is in trouble, he has a chance to trim the tail of one such family. I am
assuming that he means "influential families," but can anyone confirm or refute
this reading? The phrase is not listed in Bernard Share's dictionary of Irish
slang; if anyone can recommend a better such dictionary, I'd be most grateful.
Many thanks -- Bob Evans