get (one's) back up(redirected from got their backs up)
get (one's) back up
To become or cause to become angry, hostile, defensive, or irritable. John got his back up when his parents brought up the subject of college. Election season always gets my dad's back up.
get back up
To return to an upright or standing position, especially after having fallen or after having sat or lain down. I know you just sat down, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to get back up—those are not your seats. He's taken a beating tonight, and this might be it for the champ. No, wait, he's getting back up!
get someone's back up
Also, get someone's dander up; put or set someone's back up . Make angry, as in Bill's arrogance really got my back up, or The foolish delays at the bank only put her back up. Get one's back up and get one's dander up mean "become angry," as in Martha is quick to get her dander up. The back in these phrases alludes to a cat arching its back when annoyed, and put and set were the earliest verbs used in this idiom, dating from the 1700s; get is more often heard today. The origin of dander, used since the early 1800s, is disputed; a likely theory is that it comes from the Dutch donder, for "thunder." Also see get someone's goat; raise one's hackles.
get someone's back upINFORMAL or
put someone's back upBRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone or something gets your back up or puts your back up, they annoy you. What does get my back up is a girlfriend who gets jealous if someone else finds me attractive. I thought before I spoke again. The wrong question was going to get her back up. The appointment took the whole office by surprise and at first seemed to put people's backs up. Note: This expression may refer to the way cats raise their backs when they are angry.
get someone's back upmake someone annoyed or angry.
This phrase developed as an allusion to the way a cat arches its back when it is angry or threatened.
get/put somebody’s ˈback upmake somebody annoyed: His silly remarks always get her back up.
This idiom refers to the way cats arch their backs when they are angry.