behind someone's back

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

behind someone's back

  1. (idiomatic) Without somebody's knowledge; secretly.
    The employees talked about their boss behind his back.
    You will lose good karma if you say bad things behind people's backs.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter II, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC, page 25:
      I had never defrauded a man of a farthing, nor called him knave behind his back. But now the last rag that covered my nakedness had been torn from me. I was branded a blackleg, card-sharper, and murderer.
    • 1998, Violent Femmes (lyrics and music), “Kiss Off”, in Violent Femmes:
      You can all just kiss off into the air / Behind my back I can see them stare / They'll hurt me bad, but I won't mind / They'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time