Careful Words

back (n.)

back (v.)

back (adv.)

back (adj.)

Back and side go bare, go bare,

Both foot and hand go cold;

But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,

Whether it be new or old.

Bishop Still (John) (1543-1607): Gammer Gurton's Needle. Act ii.

  Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now; your gambols, your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? Quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.

O, call back yesterday, bid time return!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Richard II. Act iii. Sc. 2.

Blow, wind! come, wrack!

At least we 'll die with harness on our back.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Macbeth. Act v. Sc. 5.

  What is got over the Devil's back is spent under the belly.

Martin Luther (1483-1546): Works. Book v. Chapter xi.

  To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, and fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back.

Tom Brown (1663-1704): Laconics.

Revenge, at first though sweet,

Bitter ere long back on itself recoils.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ix. Line 171.

  Isocrates was in the right to insinuate, in his elegant Greek expression, that what is got over the Devil's back is spent under his belly.

Alain René Le Sage (1668-1747): Gil Blas. Book viii. Chap. ix.

I fled, and cry'd out, Death!

Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh'd

From all her caves, and back resounded, Death!

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 787.

  Revolutions never go backward.

Wendell Phillips (1811-1884): Speech, Feb. 12, 1861.

Saint George, that swinged the dragon, and e'er since

Sits on his horse back at mine hostess' door.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King John. Act ii. Sc. 1.

For most men (till by losing rendered sager)

Will back their own opinions by a wager.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Beppo. Stanza 27.

The man that hails you Tom or Jack,

And proves, by thumping on your back,

His sense of your great merit,

Is such a friend that one had need

Be very much his friend indeed

To pardon or to bear it.

William Cowper (1731-1800): On Friendship.

And friend received with thumps upon the back.

Edward Young (1684-1765): Universal Passion.

Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,

With his back to the field and his feet to the foe,

And leaving in battle no blot on his name,

Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844): Lochiel's Warning.

Back to thy punishment,

False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 699.