WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
shave•tail  (shāvtāl′),USA pronunciation n. [Slang.]
  1. Military[U.S. Army.]a second lieutenant.
  2. Slang Termsa young, newly broken mule.
  • 1840–50, American; shave + tail1; origin, originally in reference to unbroken army mules, whose tails were shaved for identification

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