One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A means of travel or (in later use) a competitive event in which two (or more) people share one horse and take turns to ride the horse ahead and tie it up for the person (or persons) following behind on foot; (in extended use) the action of alternating or taking turns. Compare to ride and tie.
Frequently hyphenated. Of or relating to a means of travel or (in later use) a competitive event that involves shared alternate progress on foot and on horseback; (in extended use) that involves alternating or taking turns.
In a ride-and-tie manner.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Tom Paine (1737–1809), author and revolutionary. From to ride and tie.
ride and tie/ˌrʌɪd ən(d) ˈtʌɪ/
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