- a figurative expression, implying bankruptcy, or the crippling of a person’s means. “A story is current of a fashionable author answering a late and rather violent knock at his door one evening. A coal-heaver wanted to know if the gentleman would like a cheap ton of coals; he was sorry for troubling him so late, but ‘the party as had a-ordered the two ton and a-half couldn’t be found,’ although he had driven his ‘waggon for six blessed hours up and down the neighbourhood. Five-and-twenty is the price, but yer shall have them for 20s.’ Our author was not to be tempted, he had heard of the trick before; so bidding the man go away from his house, he shut the door. The man, however, lingered there, expatiating on the quality of his coals—‘Acterly givin’ ’em away, and the gent wont have ’em,’ said he, addressing the neighbourhood in a loud voice: and the last that was heard of him was his anything but sweet voice whistling through the keyhole, ‘Will eighteen _bob_ BREAK YER BACK?’”
More About break one’s backPosition in the dictionary: 339 of 4022 slang words.
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