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What is the actual meaning of, "I got your back"...???

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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:40 PM
Original message
What is the actual meaning of, "I got your back"...???
This expression is now permeating conversations, advertisements, exchanges from friends, etc. and I'd like to get your idea on what -- where -- why it originated.

Thanks much!
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think it's "you can walk over there with your gun, eyes facing
forward in search of the enemy/danger, and you don't have to worry about what's behind you cuz I've got you covered/am watching out for you back here/will shoot anyone who's trying to shoot you in the back"

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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Good start. Now WHERE (under what circumstances) did it start?
Was it during the election season?
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la la Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. gotcher back-
"Ya need hep- here I am!"
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's ancient
In the midst of heated battle, things turned into a frenzy on the field and trusted warriors would fight "back to back" to cover each other's blind spots.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Can you cite anything -- any usage at all -- showing that it's ancient?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Don't have time to google it up
but it was common practice- Not sure which civilization "originated" it- but with a little searching, I'm sure you'll find references to it.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Look up Greek history - google Peloponessian wars
especially the army of Athens. There was a legion of soldiers who where homosexual lovers, cannot recall the name of the unit, who where known for their fierce courage in battle. No man would be less than courageous in the company of his lover. If I am remembering my history reasonably well, they fought down to the last man against Sparta.

When the battle got bad, each man would fight with his back against his comrade, covering his blind side and being covered also. The term 'I've got your back' is based on this method of combat. It means focus on what is in front of you and I will cover what you cannot see.

One should only expect to have his back covered by someone totally trusted. CYA buddy system is what it amounts to.
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. It means
You go first into the danger. I'll follow you and use you as a human shield. :)

TlalocW
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Mizmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
8. It means "You first, buddy"
:P
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Some woman said into to Kerry during the campaign
I remember this from the speech he gave that I attended. He said that a woman had sent a message through one of his staffers saying "We got your back."
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ChairOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
10. Um, you can only look one direction at a time?
And so for you to be completely safe, somebody has to watch your back.

Mebbe I'm misunderstanding your question...
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
11. I don't doubt the concept is ancient, but it's a black slang saying
that I first heard in the Sixties. It basically means, "I'll support you, even if the going gets rough."

:headbang:
rocknation
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. it is older than the 2004 election cycle
my son and his friends have been saying it for years. The way they use it, it doesn't necessarily mean "you go first into danger" but rather "since you're going into danger, I'll be here to back you up if you need me."
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Worst Username Ever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. It is from the days of the stockade.
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 05:34 PM by Worst Username Ever
At least that is what I understand. Public humilation was often the sentence given to petty criminals, including a few days in the stockade, with your nexk and hands cuffed into this wooden harness. At night, if you were alone, people would come up and mess with you or worse... have their, um, way with you. So you had a friend stay with you at night and watch your back.

The soldier explaination seems to work well too, IMO.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thanks, DU folks...
I appreciate your taking the time to fill me in on this phrase and its meaning.

Your answers were quite a big help. Enjoy the evening! Warm regards from Radio_Lady
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