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Back of one’s hand

Rejection or contempt, as in Unimpressed with him, she gave the back of her hand to his suggestion. This phrase is usually the object of a verb such as give or show. [ Second half of 1700s ]
Back of the hand similarly means “an insult” in the term back-handed compliment (see under know like a book).


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    any department or office, as a private office or a department of record keeping, that is not usually seen by outsiders. Contemporary Examples Adoboli might have learned how to hide his losses during a stint in the UBS back office before he became a trader. The Hero Rogue Trader William Underhill September 15, 2011 Everyone—staff, […]

  • Back on one’s feet

    see: on one’s feet

  • Back order

    Commerce. an order or part of an order waiting to be filled. to treat as a back order: We have to back-order your sofa until the new fabric arrives. Historical Examples The more usual custom is to give the back order the same number as the original of which it is a part. Cyclopedia of […]

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