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 ?
* Robust back-padding: all-day comfort with thick mesh covered back panel padding and wide air channels.
It was real life history in action!" After the children had examined the shelter it was covered back over with soil and grass.
They covered back for each other and when someone was out of position they recovered for that player.
An optional covered back porch allows for outdoor living.
I would have loved to see an artist like Yela covered back in the day in Thrasher--a very talented rap artist who cares about skating, and actually skates himself.
Amenities will include granite countertops, wood trim, hardwood floors, a central vacuum system, an alarm system, an audio system, a home theater in the bonus room, a tile or marble shower, whirlpool tub, covered back porch, sprinkler system and full landscaping.