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behind someone's back

behind someone's back

Date: Sep 02 2010

Themes: Friend, Romance


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

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“At least men were gentlemen back then. They might say something behind your back, but at least they opened the door.”

- Actress January Jones on how men have changed since the 1960s. (Us Weekly)


1. Definition - Study the definition.

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without telling someone; done in secret

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

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There is an old riddle that goes, “If a tree falls in the forest but no one hears it, does it make a sound?” You could also say, if someone says something mean about you but you don’t know it, does it matter?

When someone does or says something mean or rude and doesn’t tell you, we say it’s behind your back. Let’s say your best friend makes fun of your outfit. If it happens behind your back, you can’t see or hear it happening. You don’t know about it. So, it can’t really hurt your feelings…unless you find out about it later.

If you find out that someone said or did something mean behind your back, you might feel betrayed. For example, you might wish that your friend had just been honest with you about your outfit, or told you to your face how she felt about it. Saying something to someone’s face is the opposite of saying it behind their back.

On the TV show Mad Men, January Jones plays a housewife in the 1960s. January thinks that in the 60s, men talked about women behind their backs. But they still acted like gentlemen to their faces. In her opinion, it is important to act polite to people in person, even if you are rude to them behind their backs.

Do you ever gossip about people behind their backs? Has anyone ever said anything mean about you behind your back? How did you find out?


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

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“I can’t believe my sister asked my boyfriend out behind my back.”

“I would never go behind my wife’s back; I think it’s important to be honest in a relationship.”

“Dylan is nice to Jennifer’s face, but he always talks about her behind her back.”


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

crumarina without someone's knowledge or permission
by crumarina
Behind your back means not in front of you.
by Mr.Bean's wife
gossip, tell something about you the third person, when you are not present - usually something nasty
by DecapitatedLucia
Behind your back = talk about someone in a negative way without him/her knowing .
by Fantasy_Garden
ehwaz gossip about you
by ehwaz
chomo without sb's knowledge or permission
by chomo
I guess, behind someone's back, is means, to do some bad things or say some bad words behind someone eles
by happysmilesunny
peachmuse talk something bad about you when you not around
by peachmuse
when you're not present. talking behind someone's back usually means saying bad things about someone when they're not here.
by peepinchique
happy star gossip or chattin about someone when its not present.
by happy star
narsen92 to say or do something bad not in front of someone.
by narsen92
Mostafa5 without a person's knowledge and in an unfair way,furtively
by Mostafa5
gossip / someone having an opinion about you and sharing it with someone else, not with you
by bystander :-)
to talk bad about someone
by Thanychanx3
-Tiago- Talk bad about someone when that person is not there
by -Tiago-
to say behind someone's back means to speak in his absence
by monacovalentina
Sergio M It means somebody talk or do something that you don't know
by Sergio M
nat182 not directly to somebody
by nat182
Gellerke rumor or complaint about you when ou are not there
by Gellerke

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Log in to Comment

venki watson


it means do something bad r lie without inform to other person

eg “suppose u did somethilg bad against me finally u did say am sorry i do not know anything that time i would have say this word”

07:48 AM Apr 12 2012 |



Hong Kong

I hate someone say something behind my back! I would rather never know it if that was the case happened on me.

03:21 AM Sep 27 2010 |




  when you say or do something behind someone does not mean it is a BAD thing.Good and Bad things can be done behind people.Surprise parties are mostly organized behind the people that it's being arranged for and it's a good thing.it has to be arranged behind that person cause it's MEAN to be a SURPRISE.


08:38 AM Sep 10 2010 |



Saying something behind one's back is a kind of cowardice. In fact, if we have some issues with someone, we should face that with him.


12:06 AM Sep 07 2010 |



Saying something behind's back is a kind of cowardice. In fact, if we have some issues with someone, we should face that with him.


12:05 AM Sep 07 2010 |




Everyone has already criticized or told something mean once behind someone's back,I'm not different…I'm not to use to say bad things behind someone's back I prefer to say in your face! And I also prefer people say something in my face,I deal with sincere people much better :) Sometimes I'm target of gossip from people who dislike me,course…Do you know what I do? I shit and walk!!!! hahaha

07:38 PM Sep 06 2010 |



Russian Federation

Yes it's hurt to know that someone you trust is talking or doing smth against you behind your back. I guess it can cause the end of close relationships with that person.

07:07 AM Sep 05 2010 |




to tell something behind someone back it´s not cool

01:59 AM Sep 05 2010 |



Hello how r  u dear?

03:24 PM Sep 03 2010 |


Russian Federation

I'm totally agree with Rosendo :) and lets have a look at this from another side. If someone talk about you behind you back it means you are still important, and ppl aer not indifferent to your personality ))

04:43 AM Sep 03 2010 |


United Arab Emirates

Talking about someone behind their backs is soooooo mean! I have discovered that my friends talk behind my back and I felt really bad, but not anymore.. This has affected my relationship with them, I cant trust them anymore.

10:35 PM Sep 02 2010 |


johnSuper Member!

United States

If someone talks behind my back I will rope them with my lasso.

09:57 PM Sep 02 2010 |

Nicte ha

Nicte ha


We human being are so complicated.

We usually choose the easy way to get an exit for our frustrations.

It's really easy to talk behind others backs but the consequences r terribles.

And I agree to Rosendo, everyone in the world has done it:

Who is really pure and saint?

We are humans, we commit mistakes, but it doesn't mean we should'nt learn the lessons.

Because your own heart knows, that you! even you!! have wished evil against your fellow, many times. Ecclesiastes 7:21,22

07:32 PM Sep 02 2010 |




everyone on the world has done it.
we have enough experience to talk behind someone's back.

05:20 PM Sep 02 2010 |




That is correct to say I'm not perfect. But is wrong to say I'm not looking for perfection, or I don't want to be perfect. Talk behind someone's back, with evil intentions will never bring good things to none.If I don’t want the evil to me, I can’t do the evil onto others. Although not all conversation behind someone’s back is with evil intention. So we need to understand the intention in our own heart, because God already knows that (at least for whom believe in Him – Jeremiah 17:9-11).

05:17 PM Sep 02 2010 |



Syrian Arab Republic

talking about sombedy when he is absence

03:56 PM Sep 02 2010 |




it means that when someone says s.thing that maybe hurts u not in  front of u !

02:04 PM Sep 02 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

someone talk good or bad about u when u abasent or Dead.

12:45 PM Sep 02 2010 |




i am admitting, i am always gossiping something mean about my supervisor, because i hate him, and lots of people in our here also hate him, that is it!

12:44 PM Sep 02 2010 |



It means talk about someone who is not here

12:10 PM Sep 02 2010 |

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