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You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours

Posted by Sauerkraut on October 26, 2000

In Reply to: You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours posted by ESC on October 13, 2000

: : I am 9 years old and for my homework I need to find the meaning and origin of You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Please help. Thank you.

: : Daniel D.

: It's a political thing - politicians match each other "favor for favor." I do you a favor, and you owe me a favor.

: YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS - "A favor should be reciprocated: you do a favor for me, and I'll do one for you. The proverb has been traced back to Montaigne , and is first attested in the United States in 'Artemus Ward, His Book' by Artemus Ward, the pen name of Charles Farrar Browne (1834-76)." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

All citations notwithstanding, anyone who has ever had a few horses has seen this accomodation to mutual satisfaction of itchy spots. Thus, you help me, and I'll help you.