Green’s Dictionary of Slang

back n.1

[note the 17C use of a strong back to imply a woman’s sexual strength]

1. [1940s+] (US) a soft drink or weak alcoholic drink served and drunk alongside a stronger alcoholic drink, usu. as an order to the barman, e.g. Scotch with a beer back.

2. [1940s+] the anus; thus take it up the back, to perform anal intercourse.

3. [1980s] (US) back-up.

4. [1990s+] (US black) the posterior, the buttocks; thus baby’s got back, used to remark favourably on a woman’s posterior.

5. [1990s+] (US black) a bodyguard.

In phrases

take on some backs (v.)

[1970s+] (US black) to have anal intercourse.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

back-and-belly (n.) [dial. back and belly, a two-edged machete, which can cut with either edge and is thus ‘two-faced’] [1950s] (W.I.)

1. a hypocrite, an untrustworthy person.

2. a very thin person.

back-and-front (n.)

[1950s] (W.I.) a hypocrite.

back-and-neck (n.) [the back and neck of a chicken, the cheapest portion available and one that is almost devoid of meat]

[20C+] (W.I., St Kitts) a very thin person.

backbiter (n.)

[mid-18C–early 19C] a body louse; a flea.

back-buster (n.)

[1960s+] (US) a dive in which one lands flat on the water.

back-cheat (n.) [cheat n. (1), lit. ‘back thing’]

[early 18C–early 19C] (UK Und.) a cloak.

backmark (n.) [the image is of secrecy and deliberate concealment] [1950s+] (US black/prison)

an informer, esp. in prison.

back-out (n.)

[1970s] (W.I.) a woman’s dress cut very low in the back.

back room (n.)

[1940s] (US) the background, the inside story.

back-scratcher (n.)

[late 19C+] a sycophant, a toady.

back-staircase (n.)

[mid–late 19C] a bustle on a dress.

back-timber (n.)

[mid-17C] clothing.

back time (n.)

[1950s+] (US Und.) time spent in prison awaiting sentencing.

In phrases

back of my hand (and the sole of my foot) [the object of the rejection will get a slap or a kick]

[late 18C+] (Irish/Scot.) a phr. implying contempt and rejection.

back of the neck (n.) [? i.e. unwashed]

[1940s] (Irish) a distasteful person.

back-to-back (adj.)

[1980s+] (US black) affectionate, friendly, intimate.

back-to-back (adv.)

[1970s–80s] (US black) to the greatest possible extent, comprehensively, fully; of a person, the epitome.

back-to-backer (n.)

[1970s+] two consecutive acts of sexual intercourse.

get off someone’s back (v.)

[1940s+] to stop annoying someone, to stop nagging at or otherwise irritating someone; usu. as imper.

get one’s back up (v.) (also get up one’s back, have one’s back up, one’s back is up, set one’s back up) [the feline habit of bristling the fur when annoyed or frightened]

[late 17C+] to become annoyed.

get on one’s back (v.) [1930s+]

1. (UK Und.) to work as a prostitute; thus on one’s back, working as a prostitute.

2. of a woman, to have sexual intercourse.

get on someone’s back (v.) (also be on someone’s back) [1920s+] (orig. Aus.)

to annoy, to harass; to tell off, to scold.

get someone’s back up (v.)

1. [late 18C+] (also put someone’s back up, set...) to annoy, to irritate, to infuriate.

2. [1910s] to engender bravery, e.g. by a drink of alcohol.

get up (on) someone’s back (v.) [feline imagery]

[1950s+] to annoy.

have one’s back scratched (v.) [one is scratched by the cat-o’-nine-tails]

[late 19C+] to suffer a judicial flogging.

have someone’s back (v.) [the image of guarding one’s back from attack]

[1980s+] to take care of, to look after; thus phr. got your back, an expression of support.

knock the back out of (v.) [ult. euph. for fuck the arse off someone under fuck v. ]

[1960s+] to express a desire to indulge in a sexual act with a member of the opposite sex, e.g. I’d knock the back out of that!

make a hump in one’s back (v.)

see under hump n.1

on one’s back (adj.) (also up on one’s back)

[late 19C+] penniless, impoverished.

on someone’s back (adj.)

[mid-19C+] causing problems for someone, being irritating; thus antonym off someone’s back.

up someone’s back (adj.)

[mid19C] referring to a third party.

In exclamations

my aching back! (also my aching ass!)

[1940s+] (US) a general excl.; there is no actual back pain.

my back!

[late 17C+] a general excl. of disdain, dismissal, arrogant contempt.