Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Thu May 26 12:34:22 UTC 2011

On 5/26/11 12:03 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Wed, 25 May 2011 16:19:46 +0100
> From:    Michael Quinion<wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG>
> Subject: Re: narrative
> Ron Butters wrote:
>> >  "On the back foot" appears to be a mere slip of the tongue, a blend of
>> >  (?) "on the back burner" and "on the wrong foot" (though that
>> >  interpretation does not seem to lead to the reading that JL gives it).
> It's not an error but a British English idiom from cricket. It comes from
> a batsman's being forced to put his weight on to his back foot, to take up
> a defensive posture, because of the strength or accuracy of the bowler. As
> an idiom it mean that a person has been forced into a defensive position.

Thanks for doing our homework for us, Michael!

---Amy West

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list