In Reply to: Wth your back against the wall posted by Elizabeth on October 26, 2008 at 14:43:
: Where does "stand with your back against the wall" come from? I am told that it is from a time when the body of a church was used as a hall so all the chairs etc. were moved to the outside edge and you stood with your back against the wall.
This phrase predates the use of chairs in church by centuries! It is a military metaphor. When you fight with your back to the wall, you are protected from an attack from the rear, but also you have no means of retreat; so you are making a grim resistance where you are. (VSD)