What's This He's Got My Back Stuff?

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Hal Pollner, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm seeing this used on TV commercials more and more frequently.

    "I've got her back"..."They've got my back", etc.

    Is this some "hip" new phrase we're supposed to pick up on?

    Well, I'm not gonna use it...it's stupid!

    Hal
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  2. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    I think it came out of the expression "I've got your six."

    The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing the rear of an airplane as the six o'clock position. If you picture yourself at the center of a clock face, the area directly in front of you is twelve o'clock.
     
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  3. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Very Well-Known Member
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  4. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Well-Known Member
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    There's also another explanation. A person is most vulnerable if s/he is stabbed in the back. When you and your friend are defending yourselves it might make sense to be standing back to back so that neither of you can be attacked from behind. "Backing" is also related to that.
    Over here the idea is also used in the Stab-in-the-Back myth of WWI and the Siegfried- the dragonslayer-Saga.

    @Tim Burr - that must have been some sort of thought transmission. You posted yours while I was writing mine. (Interrupted by a phonecall).
     
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  5. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    I like that explanation!

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    My friend John and I were target shooting once up on Carver Mountain, about half a mile from my house, when a cop car came crawling up the steep road. The guy was evidently a new recruit, polite enough, had no problem with us shooting there, asked to look over our handguns. We placed them on the open tailgate of John's pickup, the cop moved forward to look, then suddenly and swiftly turned back to us, exclaiming, "Look what I've done! I let you get behind me!"

    John rolled his eyes........cops are trained, I guess, to regard EVERYONE, no matter how innocent-looking, as a potential threat.

    Frank
     
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  7. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Hmmph!

    Hal
     
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  8. Michelle Anderson

    Michelle Anderson Well-Known Member
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    Dating back to Roman times,the military has long worn armor which left the back vulnerable. Ithink breastplates and bullet proof vests.

    The phrase “Got your back” dates back to at least WWII, possibly prior to that time. I’ve to several veterans of that war — actually, all of them were present on Omaha Beach — who all told me they all picked it up during that war.

    “Got your six” dates back to WWI when fighter pilots referred to the rear of their planes as “6,” a loose metaphor for the rear of a person.

    Military personnel refer to direction/lochation using positions on a clock.
     
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  9. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    It could be a bad thing sometimes. :oops:

    goturback1.jpg
     
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  10. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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  11. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Good looking bike.
     
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  12. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Bill Boggs!

    That was my Suzuki Savage "Big Single", 650 cc and 5-speeds.

    I lowered the bike by replacing the rear suspension with steel struts.

    I never took it on the highways, but rode it around our local high desert towns never faster than 35 MPH.

    I enjoyed that big thumper's low-speed torque! I liked to cruise around in 3rd gear at about 15 MPH, then open the throttle wide and feel that big piston kicking me ahead, 1-2-3-4 !

    I sold it 12 years ago when I turned 70, but still wish I had it back!

    Here's a picture when it had the factory rear suspension:

    Hal
    047.jpg

     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    A 650-CC ought to keep up with traffic just fine. Being short, a 650-CC was about as large as I could handle since they made very few bikes that were low to the ground until recent years. Anything much bigger than a 650, and I'd have trouble holding it up at traffic lights. When I first moved to California, I drove a Yamaha 80 for a couple of years until I could save up enough money for a car. I did not want to take the Yamaha 80 on the freeway, but it would do fine on the surface streets.

    As for, "I've got your back," I found this to be interesting, in that it speaks to the popularity of the term in books and other published works.

    Ngram.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  14. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner
    The bike looks smaller than the rider!
    Frank
     
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  15. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Nope, Frank...it's bigger!

    It weighs 350 pounds and I'm only 200!

    Hal
     
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  16. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    wow, how rude!!! :eek:
     
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  17. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Holly Saunders
    UK vs. US "interpretation"?

    You saw it as a remark about Hal's size being excessive; I wrote it solely understanding it to mean that is a tiny motorcycle.

    Wonder how @Hal Pollner sees it? That's the only consideration which really matters, no?
    Frank
     
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  18. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Don't worry, Hal. We got your back. ;)
     
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  19. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Somehow, I keep thinking that all this talk about peoples' "backs" has roots in a few choice comments my Dad always used, all referring in one way or another, to the anal area.
    Frank
     
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  20. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Yes of course that could be how you meant it... that's the difference between writing and face to face conversation...you can't tell by the written word so easily what the true meaning was...
     
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  21. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Holly Saunders
    So you readily see the two sides of interpretation, but tend to yield to that which struck you first? Or, rather open to reneging the first and accepting the second?
    Frank
     
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  22. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    NO I still think to me it comes across as rude.... but I accept your explanation for what you meant!!
     
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  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    As long as it's being discussed, I guess I'll have Frank's back. When I read his comment, I assumed the emphasis to be on the size of the bike rather than the rider, probably because Hal does not look to be out of shape. I'm 5'4", so I know that "big" doesn't necessarily mean fat, and I also know that weight on a small guy like me means a lot more than the same weight would mean on a larger guy.
     
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  24. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson @Holly Saunders

    And so, the wheel goes round, and round, and.......
    Frank
     
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  25. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    (Does this telescope look too small, Frank?)

    Hal

    241.JPG
     
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