one's back is up

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the way a cat, when angry, raises or arches its back.

Phrase[edit]

one's back is up

  1. (idiomatic) One is offended or angry.
    • 1835, William Hayley, The Life and Letters of William Cowper:
      My back is up, and I cannot hear the thought of wooing him any farther, nor would do it, though he were as pig a gentleman (look you) as Lucifer himself.
    • 2011, Jeannie Watt, The Baby Truce, →ISBN, page 84:
      And I want you to be nice to Patty. For some reason her back is up.
    • 2014, Kristin Butcher, Cabin Girl, →ISBN:
      Now my back is up. “Yes, the witch,” I hiss.

See also[edit]