pat on the back


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Related to pat on the back: not to mention, in the first place

pat on the back

Praise given to a person for an achievement or a job well done. Treating his daughter to ice cream was Joe's way of giving her a pat on the back after she won first place in the science fair. The only reason she stays late at work is to receive a pat on the back from her boss.
See also: back, on, pat

pat someone on the back

 and give someone a pat on the back 
1. Lit. to pat someone's back to show praise. The coach patted each player on the back after the game.
2. Fig. to praise someone for something. The teacher patted all the students on the back for their good work. They were patting themselves on the back for winning when the final whistle blew.
See also: back, on, pat

pat on the back

A word or gesture of support, approval, or praise, as in The bonus she gave her assistant was a pat on the back for doing a good job. [Early 1800s]
See also: back, on, pat

a pat on the back

COMMON If you give someone a pat on the back, you praise them for something they have done. Any shop that gives such a rapid response to a customer's complaint deserves a pat on the back. The industry can give itself a little pat on the back for the positive moves it has made to help towards its own recovery. Note: You can also say that one person pats another on the back, or that someone pats themselves on the back. I thought the editor would pat me on the back and say, `Well done!' Instead he fired me. Today is a good day to pat yourself on the back for bravery and effort.
See also: back, on, pat

pat on the back

An expression or gesture of praise or approval: Let's give them a pat on the back for doing a good job.
See also: back, on, pat