backward and forward

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backward and forward

Also, backwards and forwards.
1. Same as back and forth.
2. Thoroughly, completely, as in He read the speech over and over, until he knew it backwards and forwards. [Late 1500s]
See also: and, backward, forward
References in classic literature ?
The chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty of walking backwards and forwards in a semicircle, but, being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in, and lie at my full length in the temple.
Here Lisbeth broke from words into moans, swaying herself backwards and forwards on her chair.
A little tinkle, as of cinders falling from a grate, replied; a movement--a fire was gently stirred; and the slight rustle of life continuing, a step paced equably backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, in the apartment.
He sang the first four lines briskly and merrily, making the hare-bells chime in time with the music; but the last two he sang quite slowly and gently, and merely waved the flowers backwards and forwards.
The same afternoon I descried the venerable warrior approaching the house, with a slow, stately gait, ear-rings in ears, and spear in hand, with this highly ornamental pair of shoes suspended from his neck by a strip of bark, and swinging backwards and forwards on his capacious chest.
In spite of the rapidity of his passage, what D'Artagnan endured of impatience and anger during that short passage, the deck alone of the vessel, upon which he stamped backwards and forwards for three hours, could testify.
If they wish to give notice of a herd of buffalo in the plain beyond, they gallop backwards and forwards abreast, on the summit of the hill.
Now," said Robinson, in his amiable matter-of-fact manner, "as I happen to know the history of this quarter, backwards and forwards, we can do up this deal in short order.
They caught the man by his leg and arm, and swung him three times backwards and forwards with tremendous violence.
Beebe, and as she spoke, her long narrow head drove backwards and forwards, slowly, regularly, as though she were demolishing some invisible obstacle.