off (one's) back

(redirected from off their back)

off (one's) back

No longer a source of constant stress, anxiety, aggravation, or pressure. To be honest, it's a bit of relief having all that fame off my back. It just felt like I was under constant scrutiny no matter where I went or what I did. Would you get off my back? I'm going to mow the lawn after lunch.
See also: back, off

off someone's back

Also off someone's case. No longer harassing or bothering someone. It is often put as get off someone's back or case , as in I told her to get off my back-I'll mow the lawn tomorrow, or I wish Dad would get off my case about grades. The first of these slangy terms dates from the 1880s although it became frequent only in the 1940s, and its antonym, on one's back (as in He's been on my back about that report all morning) dates from about 1960. The variant off someone's case was first recorded only in 1970, and its antonym, on someone's case (as in He's always on my case) in 1971. Also see get off, def. 8.
See also: back, off

off (someone's) back

No longer nagging or urging someone to do something.
See also: back, off
References in classic literature ?
The greater weight the anxieties and perplexities of these things were to our thoughts while we were at sea, the greater was our satisfaction when we saw ourselves on shore; and my partner told me he dreamed that he had a very heavy load upon his back, which he was to carry up a hill, and found that he was not able to stand longer under it; but that the Portuguese pilot came and took it off his back, and the hill disappeared, the ground before him appearing all smooth and plain: and truly it was so; they were all like men who had a load taken off their backs. For my part I had a weight taken off from my heart that it was not able any longer to bear; and as I said above we resolved to go no more to sea in that ship.
To such extremity were the gods driven that they ate the soft- tanned leather of their mocassins and mittens, while the dogs ate the harnesses off their backs and the very whip-lashes.
They stripped him of his powers; they stripped him of his lands; they plucked the weapons from the hands of his clansmen, that had borne arms for thirty centuries; ay, and the very clothes off their backs -- so that it's now a sin to wear a tartan plaid, and a man may be cast into a gaol if he has but a kilt about his legs.
ROCHDALE 1 ACCRINGTON 2 ACCRINGTON captain Andy Proctor said the club had "got a monkey off their back" by beating Rochdale for the first time in 53 years.
WESLEY GIVES VILLA LIFT-OFF Aston Villa 2 Everton DEAN SMITH said Aston Villa had got a "monkey off their backs" after recording their first win since returning to the Premier League.
The region's top ice hockey players will be giving the shirts off their backs this weekend.
We (the mills) try and beat the price down until we have the shirts off their backs, then we fix that price for two or three years and feel good.
BOSTON -- National and local celebrities literally donated the "shirts off their backs" as part of the recent special auction/raffle held in conjunction with the CRAFT-BOSTON show in May at Boston's World Trade Center.
STAFF at Cardiff's Wacky Warehouse at the Pentre Gwilym House pub, Thornhill Road, have given the shirts off their backs to charity.
For black children who need a load lifted off their backs, Murray and Herrnstein just add to the baggage, delivering a gloomy message of genetic predestination and racial caste.
Hundreds marched through Durham city centre, claiming the Government was "taking the shirts off their backs", before a delegation drove to Tony Blair's constituency office in Trimdon, Sedgefield, to symbolically hand their shirts over.
A source said the move was a sign the people of Ardoyne wanted the INLA off their backs.
It is no longer acceptable that a company owned by the people should continue to make vast sums off their backs.