phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

To iron someone's back

Posted by Pdianek on October 13, 2003

In Reply to: To iron someone's back posted by ESC on October 10, 2003

: : : : any input on this one

: : : Never heard it here in my part of the U.S. I've heard of "watching someone's back" or "I've got your back."

: : Perhaps it is being used in the same way that somebody would speak about combing somebody's back. It is a sign of advancing years that we men try to become like alpha male gorillas - the silverback - and develop more hair growth on our backs. In some people hair growth is quite noticeable and so remarks about combing it are made. If it was particularly thick, one could offer to iron it flat.

: Judging from the male hair-removal products on TV in the U.S., there seems to be an attempt to make people view hairy chests and backs as a social liability. "Sex in the City" had an episode where one of the "girls" was embarrassed because her boyfriend had a hairy back. Kind of silly, if you ask me.

To iron someone's back is to get the kinks out of it through, say, massage. Or it could be a lightweight person walking on another's back. Just as ironing gets rid of wrinkles.