• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Backs băks Among leather dealers, the thickest and stoutest tanned hides.
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"He gave me back the half-crown." "He gave me back the half-crown."
"The robin came back with a worm." "The robin came back with a worm."
The "Hog's Back." The "Hog's Back."
A Dip in the Hog's Back A Dip in the Hog's Back
Bench made with Pinned Mortise-and-Tenon Joints, Low Back Bench made with Pinned Mortise-and-Tenon Joints, Low Back
Back of Steel Square, Brace Measure Back of Steel Square, Brace Measure
Back of Steel Square, Essex Board Measure Back of Steel Square, Essex Board Measure
Dad Leaned Against a Lamp Post and Scratched his Back 364 Dad Leaned Against a Lamp Post and Scratched his Back 364


  • Robert Gilfillan
    Robert Gilfillan
    “There's a hope for every woe, and a balm for every pain, but the first joys of our heart come never back again!”
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher
    Dorothy Canfield Fisher
    “Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell.”
  • George Washington
    “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”
  • John Betjeman
    John Betjeman
    “People's backyards are much more interesting than their front gardens, and houses that back on to railways are public benefactors.”
  • Don Henley
    Don Henley
    “Let hope inspire you, but let not idealism blind you. Proverb Don't look back, you can never look back.”
  • Morris L. Ernst
    Morris L. Ernst
    “Man's fear of ideas is probably the greatest dike holding back human knowledge and happiness.”


Back burner - If an issue is on the back burner, it is being given low priority.
Back foot - (UK) If you are on your back foot, you are at a disadvantage and forced to be defensive of your position.
Back number - Something that's a back number is dated or out of fashion.
Back the wrong horse - If you back the wrong horse, you give your support to the losing side in something.
Back to back - If things happen back to back, they are directly one after another.
Back to square one - If you are back to square one, you have to start from the beginning again.
Back to the drawing board - If you have to go back to the drawing board, you have to go back to the beginning and start something again.
Back to the salt mines - If someone says they have to go back to the salt mines, they have to return, possibly unwillingly, to work.
Back to the wall - If you have your back to the wall, you are in a difficult situation with very little room for manoeuvre.
Be on the pig's back - If you're on the pig's back, you're happy / content / in fine form.
Behind someone's back - If you do something behind someone's back, you do it without telling them.
Break the back of the beast - If you break the back of the beast, you accomplish a challenge.
By the back door - If something is started or introduced by the back door, then it is not done openly or by following the proper procedures.
Cast your mind back - If somebody tells you to cast your mind back on something, they want you to think about something that happened in the past, but which you might not remember very well, and to try to remember as much as possible.
Fall off the back of a lorry - (UK) If someone tries to sell you something that has fallen of the back of a lorry, they are trying to sell you stolen goods.


In literature:

Then it swung back again following a fairly easy slope to the top.
"Sundown Slim" by Henry Hubert Knibbs
They had taken off his hat and he sat with his arms folded fiercely across the back of "Andy" Roberts's nifty evening coat.
"The Witness" by Grace Livingston Hill Lutz
That fool hoss acts like he wanted to go back to your camp.
"The Ridin' Kid from Powder River" by Henry Herbert Knibbs
You'd slip right back again directly my back was turned.
"The Safety Curtain, and Other Stories" by Ethel M. Dell
Maybe he'll ride out of town and after a while the hawss will come galloping back with an empty saddle.
"The Sheriff's Son" by William MacLeod Raine
His eyes, instead of being fixed at the back of his master's chair, were simply riveted upon the stones.
"The Black Box" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
I have about sixty beasts there now, and that's mainly why I'm going back.
"The Adventures of Kathlyn" by Harold MacGrath
I was to come back; as soon as it was safe I was to come back; that was the main tenor of the letter.
"Romance" by Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
She settled herself in her chair, leaning back.
"Bella Donna" by Robert Hichens
There was trouble on the line ahead, and my friend came back.
"The Courage of Marge O'Doone" by James Oliver Curwood
The question brought back to him vividly the scene of the night before; brought back to him Maggie with her love and fear.
"The Helpmate" by May Sinclair
He made up his mind to stay there until Scraggy came back; then he would go back to Tarrytown and bring the twins to Ithaca.
"From the Valley of the Missing" by Grace Miller White
Are you glad to get back to us, Randy?
"The Trumpeter Swan" by Temple Bailey
The poor creature was helpless to get back into the water, and was gasping for breath; fish, you know, cannot live long out of water.
"Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17)" by Various
This was Scipio's position on Suffering Creek, but it does not tell half of what lay somewhere in the back of his quaintly-poised mind.
"The Twins of Suffering Creek" by Ridgwell Cullum
The horizon drew back and back.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930" by Various
But as he retraced his steps to the shops his attention was caught by a man's back, a narrow back clad in grey.
"The Deaves Affair" by Hulbert Footner
There had been moments, of late, when he wondered if he need ever go back to that guiding hand of hers on his unresponsive life.
"Old Crow" by Alice Brown
He leaned back in an arm-chair, with his back to the light, and closed his eyes.
"Under False Pretences" by Adeline Sergeant
She walked in, never looking back, and instead of going back to his sister's he went home.
"The "Genius"" by Theodore Dreiser

In poetry:

"Ah, but the world knows -
Naught of the true rose;
Back the world slips, love!
Give me your lips, love!
"Wedding Day" by Edith Nesbit
The Black Scot is frien’ly—
A brither an’ a’—
He’ll pay you a bawbee,
An’ steal back twa.
"The Scots [A Dirge]" by Henry Lawson
Yet, tho' your principles are slack
In one respect or two,
I'm very glad to hear you’re back,
Cuckoo !
"To an Old Friend" by John Joy Bell
And still the sea moves on,
The woods give back the thrill
"Eurydice!" and still
The quiet sea moves on.
"Eurydice" by Sophie Margaret Hensley
He nivver comes to see us nah,
As once he used to do,
An let mi ride upon his back--
Me, an mi sissy too.
"The Old Bachelor's Story" by John Hartley
King Victor's brave Italians
Are driving back pell-mell
The Austrian battalions
And weiners will not sell.
"German Securities Fall" by Abner Cosens

In news:

Re "Baseball's Disputed Origin Is Traced Back, Back, Back" (front page, July 8).
Pitt coach Paul Chryst knows how to rotate running backs == he had three backs who each rushed for nearly 1,000 yards when he was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin in 2010.
Wizard World Austin Comic Con is back for its third year, and it's a lot more than just back issues.
Remember back in the day when Spike Lee was cranking them out back to back, year after year.
If you turn your back on back safety, you could pay for it later.
Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back, tape-measure homers in the fifth inning on Wednesday night to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their seventh consecutive victory, 4-2 over the Boston Red Sox.
Back-to-back singles by Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez opened the inning.
Dickey is the first pitcher in major league history with back-to-back one-hitters with at least 10 strikeouts.
After back to back weeks of having one band sweep away all the others in the Rocktagon, Egypt Central fell fast this week.
Today's linebackers are often smaller and faster with the versatility to chase down fast backs or drop back in pass coverage.
The Ladycats won back-to-back road games, securing a 6-4 victory over Hollister last Thursday followed by a 8-2 win over Forsyth on Friday.
Danes May Bring Back Butter As Government Rolls Back 'Fat Tax'.
Despite the growing popularity of steroid injections to treat various kinds of back pain in recent years, a new review of past research finds the shots do little to alleviate sciatica , a common condition that causes leg and back pain.
When you leave our house by backing out of the driveway, you back onto the graveled portion of the lane before going around a slight curve and head directly south.
Vincent Hancock Wins Back to Back Gold in Skeet .

In science:

It is clear for both of these that Sβ is failing to smooth out the surfaces at large λ, for S4 (and S6 too, which we have not shown) because of large numbers of “back to back” triangles and for S5 because it fails to prevent the surface degenerating into thin whiskers, similar to those observed for S2 at λ = 0.
Steiner Variations on Random Surfaces
In this case, tracing back from Q′ , either the generator extends from infinity, through spacetime, and back out to infinity, or it gets trapped, approaching a closed null generator (if one exists) of ∂ I +(P ) as its affine parameter → −∞.
Positive Energy for Asymptotically Anti-de Sitter Schwarzschild Spacetimes
More precisely the angular position of a cluster is the average position of the centers of all 3 × 3 plaquettes, weighted by their energies (the definitions of ϕ’s are adjusted in such a way that ϕ1 = ϕ2 for back-to-back configuration).
Precision Physics at LEP
As we move around in the z -plane, the set of ˆai (z , uk ) comes back to itself, but the individual ˆai (z , uk ) do not necessarily come back to themselves.
Geometric Construction of N=2 Gauge Theories
The second way to proceed (pseudo-spectral method) consists in computing the derivative of u in the Fourier space, to come back in the configuration space by an inverse Fourier transform, to multiply ∂u/∂x by u in the configuration space and to come back again in the Fourier space.
Spectral methods in general relativistic astrophysics
In contrast with the first order of compositions, where we compose maps going back in time, doing compositions in the second order requires us to pick a starting value −T in some fashion, and compose maps going forwards in time back to the present.
How to Couple from the Past Using a Read-Once Source of Randomness
There, one can see a strong tendency of the two 2b-pairs produced in the Higgs decays to lie back-to-back, reflecting the 2 → 2 intermediate dynamics of Higgs pair production via gg → hh.
Double Higgs production at TeV Colliders in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model
These two contributions destructively interfere leading to the depletion of events between the large back-to-back peak and the small remaining ’bump’ of the continuum contribution as seen in Fig. 3.
Double Higgs production at TeV Colliders in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model
There, one can see a strong tendency of the two 2b-pairs produced in the Higgs decays to lie back-to-back, reflecting the 2 → 2 intermediate dynamics of Higgs pair production via gg → hh.
The Higgs Working Group: Summary Report
These two contributions destructively interfere leading to the depletion of events between the large back-to-back peak and the small remaining ’bump’ of the continuum contribution as seen in Fig. 3.
The Higgs Working Group: Summary Report
At lowest order in QCD the process e+ e− → qq results in a final state with back to back quarks i.e. “pencil-like” event with T = 1.
The QCD Coupling Constant
At order αs the production processes are gg → bb and qq → bb result in b-hadrons that are back to back in azimuth.
The QCD Coupling Constant
Finally, this lowest order is a 2 → 2 process which yields only back to back photons in the direction transverse to the beam axis; it gives no contribution to the tail of the transverse momentum distribution of photon pairs.
The QCD and Standard Model Working Group: Summary Report from Les Houches
The test stand was designed to test up to eight windows in series into a matched load. The windows are set up in pairs in a back to back configuration with a section of half height WR 1150 waveguide between them.
Lifetime Testing 700 MHz RF Windows for the Accelerator Production of Tritium Program
The setup, depicted in Fig. 21, is similar to the scheme used for polarization coding based on faint pulses. A two-photon source emits pairs of entangled photons flying back to back towards Alice and Bob.
Quantum Cryptography