cover (one's) back

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cover (one's) back

To act in order to avoid blame or responsibility for something or prevent oneself from experiencing negative consequences. I immediately covered my back by saying that I wasn't home when the puppy got out.
See also: back, cover

cover your back

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

cover your ass

AMERICAN, RUDE
If you do something in order to cover your back, you do it in order to protect yourself, for example against criticism or against accusations of doing something wrong. He had covered his back by persuading Evans, chairman of their finance committee, to provide a written approval for the contract. Newspaper editors have to cover their backs against accusations of libel.
See also: back, cover

cover your back

foresee and avoid the possibility of attack or criticism. informal
See also: back, cover

cover your ˈback

(informal) (American English also cover your ˈass taboo, slang) realize that you may be attacked or criticized for something later and make sure you avoid this: Cover your back by getting everything in writing. OPPOSITE: (lay/leave yourself) wide open (to something)
See also: back, cover
References in periodicals archive ?
The system is able to make either a full cover back coating or an appliation with a stripe pattern according to the different tuft gauges of the turf.
Inaccuracy of the cover back with comparing with book back thickness.
It's no accident that Guillermo del Toro's decision to render Rage Bizzio's sixth novel as a film is plastered on the novel's front cover back cover and interior: watching Mar&237;a observe (and commit) act after debaucherous act will surely yield a sensational gripping movie.
At the moment it looks like a moonscape; it's going to take five years to get the vegetation cover back and at least 10 years before it's back to what it was before the fire.
ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, is using the report to press the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to adopt the federal levy system, which would allow the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department to tap into Medicare payments to providers in order to cover back taxes.
As a local lad he is expected to put in a superhuman display every game in which he should dribble, score and cover back for the full 90.
That is good news, as is the fact that Anthony Gerrard should be back for the Bury game next week so we have got plenty of cover back there.
said it will pay more than $18 million to cover back taxes owed to the U.
BLACK ENTERPRISE predicted the success of African American comics when we featured Cosby on our cover back in December 1981 (see inset).