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slap on the back

A gesture of congratulation, as in The coach gave him a slap on the back for coming in first. [Early 1800s]

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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.

Examples from the Web for slap on the back

Historical Examples of slap on the back

  • The garrulous or impertinent talker is almost as objectionable as the hail-fellow-well-met, slap-on-the-back fellow.

    The Book of Business Etiquette

    Nella Henney