behind someone's back


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behind someone's back

Out of one's presence or without someone's knowledge, as in Joan has a nasty way of maligning her friends behind their backs. Sir Thomas Malory used this metaphoric term in Le Morte d'Arthur (c. 1470): "To say of me wrong or shame behind my back." [Early 1300s]
See also: back, behind
References in periodicals archive ?
It can help when you need to brag or blow off steam or tell a secret or even talk behind someone's back.
They were all parcelled up into a bag after the race and left behind someone's back door in Beech Grove.
SOD'S law says that if you are rude behind someone's back they are certain to hear about it.
We don't gossip behind someone's back with three or more in the conversation.
You can hide and talk behind someone's back or be up front and say: 'don't do that.