scratch (one's) back

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scratch (one's) back

To provide one with a favor; to do something generous, helpful, or beneficial for someone. Usually implies that the favor is expected or hoped to be returned in the future. The president has been accused of scratching the oil industry's backs with a series of executive actions that put them in a position to make a lot more money. I've been scratching his back for years now—getting him a job, helping him move into his apartment, lending him money to buy furniture. The least he could do is help me clean out my house before I move. Just get me the information on the senator I need, and I'll make sure it's worth your while—you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, OK?
See also: back, scratch

scratch someone's back

 
1. Lit. to scratch, usually with the fingers, the parts of someone's back that they cannot reach. Please scratch my back between my shoulder blades.
2. Fig. to do a favor for someone in return for a favor done for you. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. We believe that the mayor has been scratching the treasurer's back.
See also: back, scratch

scratch someone's back

Do someone a favor in hopes that a favor will be returned. For example, I don't mind driving this time-she's scratched my back plenty of times. It also is put as you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, as in If you do the laundry I'll do the cooking-you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. This idiom was first recorded in 1704.
See also: back, scratch
References in periodicals archive ?
They should not resort to 'You scratch my back, I scratch yours.' The voters put their trust in politicians; they never expect them to undermine the national interest.
Our human relationship must go beyond the narrow limits of 'You scratch my back; I scratch your back.' People expect a similar return to what they do to others; favors are reciprocated, compliments returned, thus balance and measures are clear.
We have all heard of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours"--in other words, you write me a lovely attestation and I'll write you one!
In the "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" department, it seems in past years the Fair Board has paid the Eugene Faith Center to allow overflow parking from the county fair to use the church's parking lot to keep traffic off neighborhood streets.
* A down side of referral networks is that recommendations can be traded -- you scratch my back and I scratch yours -- or even sold.
As a businessman, he usually gets what he wants, but the political way of doing things is, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said De Castro's appointment is a case of "You scratch my back and I scratch yours."
Former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine said it "seems like he's sending a message to current [White House] staff worried about investigation of Trump obstruction: 'Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.'"
The 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours,' suggests a possible conflict of interest to say the least.
Decca Beat Girls and Scratch My Back! Pye Beat Girls releases spotlights the female singers who recorded between 1964 and 1967 for the EMI group of labels, headquartered in Marylebone, in the heart of London's West End.
This attitude of 'you scratch my back and I will scratch yours' will only take the country backwards.
Jul 23-Aug 23 LEO REMEMBER the saying "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours?" I can't emphasise too strongly how important it is that you don't say it to the lions at Knowsley Safari Park.
Oh, I remember they were abiding by the so-called Charter of Democracy (CoD), which in actuality means, "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours."
It appears as if the two sides are employing the tactic: You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.