"Right back at you!"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 4 16:16:50 UTC 2011

At 11:51 AM -0400 5/4/11, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>A character in a recent movie says, "Right back at you, buddy!" I.e., "The
>same to you!"
>I've heard this a few times, in both complimentary and uncomplimentary
>GB takes "Well, right back at you!" back (apparently) to 1926 in Texas, with
>only one or two appearances until around 2000. when its popularity jumps.
>Did Texan W make this famous?
>"Right back at you, buddy!" goes only to 2001 (in a book published in 2005).
>Similar recent results for "...pal" and "...buster." and "...at you, you..."
I also associate it with poker playing, when one player raises and
another re-raises "right back at ya".  The poker context would at
least be a plausible vector, if the Texas origin is correct.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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