cover (one's) ass

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Related to cover (one's) ass: exculpation
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cover (one's) ass

rude slang To act in order to avoid blame or responsibility for something or prevent oneself from experiencing negative consequences. I immediately covered my ass by saying that I wasn't home when the puppy got out. Politicians don't care about the outcome of the vote, they just care about covering their asses.
See also: ass, cover
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cover one's ass

Also, cover one's hide or oneself . Make excuses or otherwise take action to avoid being blamed, punished, or harmed. For example, The first thing you learn in the army is to cover your ass, or Jane is ingenious at finding ways to cover her hide. The first phrase, considered vulgar slang, dates from the 1960s; the variants are more polite.
See also: ass, cover
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cover your ass

take steps to protect yourself.
See also: ass, cover
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

Cover your ass

and CYA
sent. & comp. abb. Do what is necessary to protect yourself from discovery or criticism. (Usually objectionable.) CYA when the shit hits the fan.
See also: ass, cover
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

cover (one's) ass

Vulgar Slang To take measures to avoid being held responsible if something goes wrong.
See also: ass, cover
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cover one's/your ass (CYA)

Protect oneself in case of failure, avoid being blamed for something. This rather rude expression dates from the 1950s and may have originated in the military. It has since been used in many different contexts. For example, the McLaughlin Group, a television panel, used the acronymic form: “Is he a hero . . . [or] a CYA practitioner?” (July 26, 1987).
See also: ass, cover
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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