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    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 143
    #1

    A back-coverer

    Hi!

    There is a clause: "... the country doesnít have its jobsworths and back-coverers..."

    Could anyone kindly tell what the noun a 'back-coverer' means?

    Thank you.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    #2

    Re: A back-coverer

    The full paragraph reads, "In fact, the real story concerned just two drop-off adventure play areas, where parents had taken to hanging around and were being asked (by the Liberal Democrat council) to desist. It’s not that the country doesn’t have its jobsworths and back-coverers, who overinterpret regulations, health and safety rules or bylaws to suit their whims and fears. It always has had. In my childhood it was park-keepers."

    The context gives the definition: those "who overinterpret regulations, health and safety rules or bylaws to suit their whims and fears."

    In a cruder setting, we would say those who "cover their ass" by these actions, over-interpreting rules, etc., to protect themselves or (in the case of "jobsworth") make sure they are busy, or worth their pay grade.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 143
    #3

    Re: A back-coverer

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    The full paragraph reads, "In fact, the real story concerned just two drop-off adventure play areas, where parents had taken to hanging around and were being asked (by the Liberal Democrat council) to desist. Itís not that the country doesnít have its jobsworths and back-coverers, who overinterpret regulations, health and safety rules or bylaws to suit their whims and fears. It always has had. In my childhood it was park-keepers."

    The context gives the definition: those "who overinterpret regulations, health and safety rules or bylaws to suit their whims and fears."

    In a cruder setting, we would say those who "cover their ass" by these actions, over-interpreting rules, etc., to protect themselves or (in the case of "jobsworth") make sure they are busy, or worth their pay grade.
    Thank you very much for this valuable reply; what I wanted to know is this subtle difference between "jobworths" and "back-coverers" and the crude[and exact] setting "cover their ass" seems to be subsidised here by euphemism: "who overinterpret regulations, health and safety rules or bylaws to suit their whims and fears."

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