Idiom 'Be on the Back Foot'- Idioms in English

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In this lesson you will learn the meaning of the idiom “to be on the back foot’ and how we can use it in our daily conversations.


Julia: To be on the back foot means to be in a defensive position.

Samuel: Ricky Ponting was batting on the back foot yesterday.

Julia: This is not only used in cricket. It is used as an idiom which means forced to be in disadvantage by an opponent. Who won the match, Samuel?

Samuel: So, you mean, being on back foot also means to be outclassed? The Aussies put the Kiwis on their back foot despite their weak batting.

Julia: You’re correct. It also means to be troubled by something or even a physical disability to continue with something. Can you give an example, Samuel?

Samuel: Sure, the snow storm put us on the back foot on our last mountaineering trip.

Julia: Alright! Mountaineering is fun. Next time do take me along with you.

Samuel: That’ll be fun for sure! But you’ll be on the back foot with those extra pounds of yours.

Julia: C’mon Sammy! Don’t you know I go to the gym every day now?

Business Plans.

Veronica: The new trade policy is putting our company on the back foot.

Anton: I have no worries about it. The deal with Kamone and GL Logistics will compensate for that, for sure.

Veronica : I hope you are right , Anton. The competition is really tough these days.

Anton : Veronica, we may be on the backfoot now. But we will grow rapidly soon.

Unexpected Things Happen.

Anton : Hey Samuel! Why didn’t you come to school last week?

Samuel : I got mugged last week man, and that brought me an injured leg. I was in the hospital.

Anton : Oh, no! But you know Karate don’t you?

Samuel : Karate is on the back foot when the other guy has a gun.

Anton : You are right. Well, you missed a lot of classes.

Samuel : And now I’m going to be on the back foot in studies.

Team Backfoot!

Veronica : Hey Anton. How’s your team doing?

Anton: You evil girl! You’re making fun of me.

Veronica : Ha ha! I know your team hasn’t won a game all season.

Anton : We are just on the backfoot now. You wait and see! We will win the next game.

Veronica: Your team is always on the backfoot, John. They won’t win a single game.

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