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scratch someone's back

Do someone a favor in hopes that a favor will be returned. For example, I don't mind driving this time—she's scratched my back plenty of times. It also is put as you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, as in If you do the laundry I'll do the cooking—you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. This idiom was first recorded in 1704.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.