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BACK AT YOU! A Quiz on Back Idioms

Fifteen questions about the meaning of idioms involving backs. I give you the idiom, and you choose the correct meaning. Simple? Of course it is – now let’s see how well you do!

I made a similar quiz about idioms involving legshere. And one about headshere.

If you like this quiz, be sure to check out my 75 Amazing Quizzes on a Wide Variety of Topics! – “Guaranteed to make you smarter!”


  • Question of

    What is a backseat driver?

    • A passenger in charge of navigation
    • A passeneger who criticises the driver’s driving skills
    • Someone who prefers to drive in reverse gear
  • Question of

    This will put the roses back in your cheeks

    • Get your teeth extracted at the dentist
    • Let’s eat a big box of Cadbury’s chocolates
    • This will make you healthier
  • Question of

    He has a monkey on his back

    • He likes the circus
    • He is always jumping around
    • He is addicted to drugs
  • Question of

    You’ll get his back up

    • You’ll irritate him
    • You’ll help him
    • You’ll send him home
  • Question of

    A short back and sides

    • A tall person with short legs
    • A short person with long legs
    • A haircut
  • Question of

    I’m back in harness

    • I’m wearing a medical support on my back
    • I’ve returned to work
    • I have my own horse and cart
  • Question of

    To back and fill

    • To act indecisively
    • To make extra-thick sandwiches
    • To plant trees or a hedge
  • Question of

    Put something on the back burner

    • Cook a festive dish
    • Give low priority to something
    • Suffer from sciatica
  • Question of

    Your uncle’s in the back of Bourke

    • He’s in the toilet
    • He’s having an illicit affair
    • He lives in the middle of nowhere
  • Question of

    I’ll be glad to see the back of her

    • I’ll be happy to see her leave
    • I’ll enjoy looking at her from behind
    • I’ll send her to the gym
  • Question of

    To be on someone’s back

    • To help them in every task
    • To teach them advanced yoga
    • To nag them
  • Question of

    He got his ears pinned back

    • He got a short haircut
    • He had his wisdom teeth removed
    • He was severely scolded
  • Question of

    I’ll get my own back

    • I will find the hidden treasure
    • I’ll get revenge
    • I will learn to sail a yacht
  • Question of

    He has a yellow streak down his back

    • He is cowardly
    • He is rather effeminate
    • He is a loyal Wexford supporter (in Gaelic Games)
  • Question of

    She’s on the pig’s back

    • She’s a hill farmer
    • She’s a stockmarket trader
    • She’s living a life of luxury


What do you think?

24 points


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  1. 14/15. I`m not sure about your suggested meaning for “monkey on your back”. I always thought it meant having a persistent problem – of any kind – and I’ve seen management books that talk about getting the monkey off your back, with no reference to drugs. However, I’ve just consulted my copy of Brewers and I see that your answer is the only one given!

    • Well, my answer is the only one I was familiar with before making the quiz, but in my research I found the alternative, and I suppose precursor, meaning which you mention. Both seem valid, but I suggest that my answer is better known.

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