pat someone on the back

pat (one) on the back

To give praise to someone for an achievement or a job well done. Treating his daughter to ice cream was Joe's way of giving patting her on the back after she won first place in the science fair. The only reason he stays late at work is so the boss will pat him on the back.
See also: back, on, pat

pat someone on the back

express approval of or admiration for someone.
See also: back, on, pat, someone