One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A count of cattle on a station, involving cutting across the tufts at the tail ends as each is counted.
- ‘In Ozzieland, they conduct a 'bangtail muster' by the doing the same thing to cattle as a means of identifying them when taking a census of the herd.’
Late 19th century: bang in the sense ‘cut (the tail of an animal) straight across’; compare with bang (sense 2 of the verb).
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