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Strange Phrase
Requesting help to figure this phrase out
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2014/06/25
8:53am
ljohnston
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My boss always uses the phrase " If I were any better, I'd be backin' up" to say he is in a good mood.  Everyone on the other end always laughs and says they are glad to hear he is doing well, but none of my co-workers know what he means when he says this and none of us had heard it prior to working for him.  I was wondering if anyone else had heard this phrase and if so if they knew what it meant exactly or where it came from?

 

Thanks for the help!

2014/06/25
9:45am
deaconB
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At a certain age, one becomes acutely aware of his mortality.  Every year, I go downhill a little – and if you were a little more aware, you'd realize that you started going downhill in your twenties.

I figure that if I can drag my feet enough to stay in one place, it's a major victory. Most days, I seem to be going downhill faster than the prior day.

Your boss is lying to himself, but it would be a career-limiting move to remind him that physical and mental disability are crouching behind the shrubbery, ready to bushwhack him.

2014/06/26
3:48am
RobertB
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It sounds like a self deprecating expression: even gladness and feeling of well being can be too much for his old and frail body to bear.  But I never hear 'backing up' as meaning keeling over with a heart attack.

2014/06/26
3:34pm
Dick
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I think Deacon B got it pretty much right but he went around the barn to explain it and because of that, it seems Robert misunderstood the explanation.  "Backin' up" boils down to "getting younger."  There's no self deprecation, and worry about mortality is the last thing this saying would imply.

2014/06/26
8:56pm
RobertB
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'Backin up' is never for 'getting younger' in any English dialects.  But you are free to have you personal interpretation.

2014/06/26
9:32pm
Dick
Fort Worth, TX
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RobertB said
'Backin up' is never for 'getting younger' in any English dialects.  But you are free to have you personal interpretation.

And you are quite free to believe that my life experiences never happened.

2014/06/27
10:36pm
RobertB
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I think that it is very plausible that the person meant something like 'getting younger,'  especially since deaconB seems to also think the same.  And if  that is in line with your personal experiences, then that is even more credible.

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