phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

ISO: To get one's back up..

Posted by ESC on October 17, 2000

In Reply to: ISO: To get one's back up.. posted by ESC on October 16, 2000

: : Has anyone ever heard of the expression, to get ones back up? Maybe know what it means and where it came from??? Thanks!

: : Rgds,
: : Vinnie

: "Getting your back up" means you are angry or disturbed and the expression comes from a stance taken by our friend the cat.

GET ONE'S BACK UP - "Once upon a Tom someone noticed the hair standing up on a cat's humped back and coined this expression. No one knows exactly when the aggressive arching of an angry cat's back suggested this phrase for humans aroused into anger, but it's surprising that the phrase seems to be no more than two centuries old." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).