cover one's/your ass (CYA)

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