Is it tell tale or tell tail?

Is this Tell Tale Sign
Is this A Tell Tale Sign

I am interested in the etymology of words. So I do spend some time thinking about the origins of words. I have done this ever since I was a small child. As I was writing a new blog post for my dog training website I came across an interesting phrase. Tell tale, tell-tale, or telltale. Being a dog trainer I had always thought it was spelled tell tail. As in the dog’s tail is telling you about its mood. If you want to know about a dog’s intentions watch for its tell tail sings. It is interesting how our own personal points of reference can influence our behavior. I imagine most people would not think of using tell tail to the same extent as I do.

Or Is This The Tell Tail Sign
Or Is This A The Tell Tail Sign

To my surprise the phrase is meant to indicate that something is telling a small tale or story. So the proper spelling is Tell Tale.

Wishing you the very best in social media, dogs, and in life,
Andrew Ledford