tail

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Tail

Limited, abridged, reduced, or curtailed.

An estate in tail is a legally recognizable interest of inheritance that goes to the heirs of the donee's body instead of descending to the donee's heirs generally. The heirs of the donee's body are his or her lawful issue (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, in a direct line for as long as the descendants endure in a regular order and course of descent). Upon the death of the first owner to die without issue, the estate tail ends.

Cross-references

Entail.

tail

the limitation of an estate or interest to a person and the heirs of his body, or an estate or interest limited in this way.

TAIL. An estate tail is an estate of inheritance, to a man or a woman and his or her heirs of his or her body, or heirs of his body of a particular description, or to several persons and the heirs of their bodies, or the heirs generally or specially of the body or bodies of one person, or several bodies. Prest. on Estates, 355; Cruise, tit. 2, c. 1, s. 12.
     2. Estates tail, as qualified "in their limitation and extent, are of several sorts. They have different denominations, according to the circumstances under which, or the persons to whom they are limited. They are usually divided into estates tail general or special.
     3. But they may be more advantageously arranged under the following classes.
     4.-1. As to the extent of the degree to which the estates may descend, they are, 1st, general; 2d, qualified.
     5.-2. As to the sex of the person who may succeed, they are, 1st. General, as extending to males or females of the body, without exception. 2d. Special, as admitting only one sex to the succession, and excluding the other sex.
     6.-3. As to the person by whom or by whose body those heirs are to be begotten, they are either, 1st. General, as to all the heirs of the body of a man or woman. 2d. Special, as to the heirs of the body of a man or woman begotten by a particular person, or to the heirs of the two bodies of a man and woman. On the several species of estates tail noticed under this division, it may be observed, that the same estate may at the same time, be general in one respect; as, for example, to all the heirs of the body in whatever degree they are related; and may be, special in another respect, as that these heirs shall be males, &c. Prest. on Estates, 383, 4.
     7. The law relating to entails is diversified in the several states. In Indiana and Louisiana they never existed they are unknown in Illinois and Vermont. In Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and New York, estates tail are converted into estates in fee simple by statute; and they may be barred by a simple conveyance in Pennsylvania. In Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut and North Carolina, they have been modified, and in Georgia, they have been abolished without reservation. Griff. Reg. h.t. Vide, generally, 8 Vin. Ab. 227 to 272; 10 Id. 257 to 269; 20 Id. 163; Bac. Ab. Estate in tail; 4 Com. Dig. 17; 4 Kent, Com. 12; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; and. 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 188, where an attempt is made to prove that an estate resembling an estate tail was not unknown to the Romans.

References in classic literature ?
it was dreadful; but it was not only the pain, though that was terrible and lasted a long time; it was not only the indignity of having my best ornament taken from me, though that was bad; but it was this, how could I ever brush the flies off my sides and my hind legs any more?
Tell him to slack off the mainsheet, and before you know it, he'd drop the peak.
'I wonder, now, what the Rules of Battle are,' she said to herself, as she watched the fight, timidly peeping out from her hiding-place: 'one Rule seems to be, that if one Knight hits the other, he knocks him off his horse, and if he misses, he tumbles off himself--and another Rule seems to be that they hold their clubs with their arms, as if they were Punch and Judy--What a noise they make when they tumble!
The source of this contradiction lies in the fact that the historians studying the events from the letters of the sovereigns and the generals, from memoirs, reports, projects, and so forth, have attributed to this last period of the war of 1812 an aim that never existed, namely that of cutting off and capturing Napoleon with his marshals and his army.
Hans was delighted as he sat on the horse, drew himself up, squared his elbows, turned out his toes, cracked his whip, and rode merrily off, one minute whistling a merry tune, and another singing,
At last, a gossip of Mrs Nubbles's, who had accompanied her to chapel on one or two occasions when a comfortable cup of tea had preceded her devotions, furnished the needful information, which Kit had no sooner obtained than he started off again.
Tom was carried off by the chambermaid in a brown study, from which he was roused in a clean little attic, by that buxom person calling him a little darling and kissing him as she left the room; which indignity he was too much surprised to resent.
It was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off comfortable all day, smoking and fishing, and no books nor study.
One day, however, as he was lying half asleep in the warm water somewhere off the Island of Juan Fernandez, he felt faint and lazy all over, just as human people do when the spring is in their legs, and he remembered the good firm beaches of Novastoshnah seven thousand miles away, the games his companions played, the smell of the seaweed, the seal roar, and the fighting.
At the earliest streak of day one of the leaders would mount his horse, and gallop off full speed for about half a mile; then look round for Indian trails, to ascertain whether there had been any lurkers round the camp; returning slowly, he would reconnoitre every ravine and thicket where there might be an ambush.
So you maintain that Christine Daae was carried off by an angel: an angel of the Opera, no doubt?"
Two began in a low voice, `Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a RED rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know.