his back is up

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

he's got his back up

Phrase[edit]

his back is up

  1. (idiomatic, obsolete, slang) he is offended or angry; an expression or idea taken from a cat; that animal, when angry, always raising its back. An allusion also sometimes used to jeer a crooked man;
    So, Sir, I see somebody has offended you, for your back is up.