[Ads-l] Right back atcha!

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 16 09:34:02 EDT 2016

The phrase reciprocates a compliment or insult according to an online

Website: The Free Dictionary by FARLEX
Category: Idiom:
Entry: right back atcha

[Begin excerpt]
right back atcha

An exclamation used to express the same sentiment back to the original
speaker; same as "you too" and "same to you." ("atcha" is a colloquial
contraction of "at you.") Primarily heard in US, South Africa. A:
"You're one of the nicest people I know." B: "Aw, thanks! Right back
atcha! A: "You act like an idiot sometimes." B: "Right back atcha, you
[End excerpt]

The phrase can be used more generally to reciprocate actions or utterances.

In 1913 Ring Lardner recorded its use in the gambling domain.

[ref] 1913 December 21, Chicago Tribune, Section 3: Sporting Section,
In the Wake of the News by R. W. Lardner, Quote Page 1, Column 2,
Chicago, Illinois/ (Newspapers_com)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Zim—All right. A buck.
Schulte—A buck more, Heine. Throw' em away.
Zim—You think you'r going' to chase me. I'll raise you another buck.
Schulte—All right. A buck more.
Zim—Right back atcha.
Schulte—Once more.
Zim—Once more.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 7:31 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> PBS _Dinosaur Train_: "Lesley, you look great!" "Right back atcha!"
> 'And the same to you (usu. in a positive sense).'  Stress on "ATcha."
> I first encountered this long ago, but can't recall when. Maybe late '70s?
> But maybe much later than that.
> I associate it with TV personalities for some reason.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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