Green’s Dictionary of Slang

back v.2

SE in slang uses

In phrases

back at you

(US) used to express a perceived successful riposte.

[[US]Flash (NY) 29 Jan. n.p.: ‘Bad luck to yewr sowl! ye blackguard baste! cried she. ‘Whore, back in yer teeth!’].
[US]A.E. Duckett ‘Truckin ’round Brooklyn’ in N.Y. Age 3 Apr. 7/2: [headline] back atchoo.
[US]D. Lehane Prayers for Rain 30: ‘I don’t sleep with him anymore.’ ‘Well I don’t sleep with her anymore.’ ‘Congratulations.’ ‘Back at you’.
back in (v.)

(Aus.) to turn up, to attend an event.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 8 Jan. 1/5: [This] fact (the getting away with the oof, not the time made) will probably greatly annoy the industrious fielder when he eventually backs in for his cut.

In compounds

back out (n.)

(US) cowardice; the act of withdrawal.

Western Souvenir (1830) 314: There’s no back out in none of my breed [DA].
[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 169: ‘No back-out in him,’ mumbled Sniggs.
[US]D. Corcoran Pickings from N.O. Picayune (1847) 134: I is always ready [...] there’s no back out in me.
[US]N.Y. Clipper 4 June 3/1: As things had gone so far, there was no ‘back out’ in either one, so the fight commenced.
[UK]Boston Weekly Globe 28 Mar. in Farmer Americanisms (1889) 28: Mr. Barker’s back-out has not much surprised me.
back up (n.)

see separate entries.

back and fill (v.)

see separate entry.

back off the boards (v.) [SE back, to push away, to cause to retreat]

(US) to surpass.

[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 54: ‘As a Romeo, he’s got Studs backed off the boards,’ Bill said.
[US]H.C. Woodbridge ‘Miscellany’ in AS XXXVI:3 227: back off the boards, v. To beat.
back on (v.)

( Aus. prison) to gang up against.

[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 168: In our gang we all used to back on Barclay because we’d all talked it over and decided to stick together.
back one out (v.)

to defecate.

[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 3: back one outv. The act of reverse parking your breakfast, usually involving much looking over the shoulder, sweating and grunting.
[UK]P. Meditzy ‘A Day In The Life Of...’ 29 Apr. 🌐 It’s funny, as soon as the ‘pace car’ (leading shite) is away the rest comes roaring out of the pits behind it. As a rule I generally ‘back one out’ twice a day.
back out (v.)

1. to retreat [horseracing jargon back out, to bring a horse backwards out of a stall].

[US] ‘Sweet Betsey from Pike’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 43: Ike became jealous – obtained a divorce; / Sweet Betsey [...] said with a shout, ‘Good bye you big lummox, I’m glad you’ve backed out!’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms 🌐 BACK OUT — To retreat from a difficulty.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 87: ‘You think they backed out?’ said Sully.

2. (UK Black) to draw a gun [the carrying of the gun in the small of one’s back].

[UK]1011 ‘Next Up?’ 🎵 Back out my ting and make man swim.
[UK]1011 ‘No Hook’ 🎵 They see Horrid1 and they panic / He backed out the mash try slap it.
back someone out (v.) [SE back, to cause to retreat]

(US) to challenge, to face down.

[US]A.B. Longstreet Georgia Scenes (1848) 28: I didn’t care about trading, but you cut such high shines that I thought I’d like to back you out, and I’ve done it.
[US]DN III 357: Back out, To dare or challenge.
back someone’s play (v.)

see under play n.

back the barber (v.) [? like the chatty barber, the speaker talks when there is no actual justification]

(Aus.) to interfere, to butt in.

[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 229/2: back the barber – to butt into, interfere.
back the breeze (v.) [the enthusiasm of one’s speech fig. makes the wind reverse direction]

(US) to chatter, to gossip.

[US]McCulloch Woods Words n.p.: Backin’ the breeze— A man so gabby he makes the wind blow backwards.
back up (v.)

see separate entries.

back water (v.) [nautical jargon back water, to reverse a boat]

(US) to retract a statement, to back down from a position; thus take back water, to back down, to accept defeat.

N.O. Picayune (LA) 17 Mar. 1: Day before yesterday Boston waked up under a coverlid of snow, dropped from the clouds over-night. This makes business back water.
Nevada Journal 12 Dec. 1: Green was a large, powerful man, but had no grit, and Shortez offered to fight him for the money but Green backed water.
[US] ‘Central Connecticut Word-List’ in DN III:i 2: back water, v. Withdraw.
[UK]T. Burke Nights in Town 305: ’Ullo, ’ullo, ’ullo! Back water there, some of yer.
[US]C.J. Lovell ‘The Background of Mark Twain’s Vocabulary’ in AS XXII:2 89: back water, v. To retreat, or withdraw.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 721: She would not, however, let on that she was backing water.